22 November 2023
Monetary Authority of Singapore

PI: Dr Samuel Chng (LKYCIC, SUTD)
Team: Dr Suhaila Zainal Shah, Dr Sarah Chan (LKYCIC, SUTD)

The number of scam victims in Singapore is increasing and it is alarming that the profiles of scam victims include population segments who are more educated and technology savvy. In part, this phenomenon is due to the increasing sophistication of the methods employed by scammers and a false sense of invulnerability that may have let down one’s usual guards against scams. Scam prevention campaigns have, in tandem with this societal need, increased in the last few years but they have largely employed traditional methods of public education campaigns through mass and social media. However, falling for scams is still a growingly concerning issue in Singapore. Hence, a shift in the paradigm of how we prepare our public to identify and react to scams is necessary.

The project pilots the application of Inoculation Theory to combating scams in Singapore. This approach builds on the idea that much like medical vaccines confer resistance to future infection, psychological inoculations build resistance against future manipulations. Apart from developing and testing an inoculation-based intervention, we will also investigate the limitations of inoculation, such as how long effects last, in hopes of informing ecologically valid tests beyond a lab setting in the future to distil learning for future similar social inoculations.