Common themes across entries include the use of gamification to boost scam awareness and incentivise scam reporting, as well as leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to detect and notify users of scam attempts
DBS, the Singapore Courts (SG Courts), and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) announced the four winners of Hackathon for a Better World 2022 today. The community hackathon saw a total of 27 teams submit their best solutions for tackling scams, after two months of intense research and solutioning.
2 The winners were recognised in a presentation event, with Justice Aedit Abdullah, High Court Judge, and Tan Puay Kern, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council gracing the event as Guests-of-Honour. The event also saw the launch of a resource package containing all the submitted entries, which would be shared with community partners for their consideration in view of possible implementation. Summaries of the winning pitches as well as quotes from the winning teams can be found in Annex A.
3 Launched in July this year, Hackathon for a Better World 2022 focused on generating ground-up solutions to combat scams, at a time when the number of scam cases in Singapore has soared by more than 50%, resulting in victims losing more than SGD 600 million to scammers last year1. The hackathon also supports the Singapore Together movement, which brings together the Government and the community, as well as the private and public sectors, in citizen-led efforts to build a shared future for Singapore.
4 It culminated with six finalists making their pitch before a judging panel on 29 September 2022. Four winners were eventually selected for:
5 Mr Lam Chee Kin, Group Head of Legal, Compliance and Secretariat at DBS Bank, said, “It’s worth noting that although the four winners proposed tech-driven solutions, the heart of their proposals target how criminals exploit potential victims – this human-centricity is probably the biggest focus of the way we intend to take their work forward. DBS is grateful to all participants, and to our partners, the Singapore Judiciary and the National Crime Prevention Council, for yet another successful year of the Hackathon for a Better World.”
6 Justice Aedit Abdullah said, “We are pleased to be a part of this social-purpose Hackathon for the third successive year to explore and encourage creative solutions to combat increasingly sophisticated scam activities. I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of the ideas and enthusiasm displayed by the participants, and we are delighted to recognise the winning teams for their achievements. We look forward to implementing promising and innovative solutions in the near future.”
7 Mr Tan Puay Kern, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council, said, “We applaud all participating teams’ efforts to develop an array of creative solutions against scams. This competition is a testament of the public’s interest in scam prevention and will also act as a catalyst when NCPC rolls out future plans to fortify our community against scams.”
8 Last year, DBS and SG Courts partnered the Ministry of Communications and Information for Hackathon for a Better World, where teams submitted innovative solutions aimed at designing a safer, kinder and more responsible internet for all. Commenting on the successful hackathon which had yielded ideas for future implementation, Mr Aaron Maniam, Deputy Secretary (Industry & International), Ministry of Communications and Information, said, “We were pleased that nine out of 28 submissions from last year’s hackathon complemented efforts by the Singapore Together Alliance For Action To Tackle Online Harms, Especially Those Targeted at Women and Girls (also known as the “Sunlight AfA”) to raise awareness about online harms, equip individuals with resources and skills to respond to online harms as well as enhance the support journey for victims.”
9 Hackathon for a Better World adopts a unique ‘slow-burn’ format, where participants work on their problem statements through an iterative process. This is unlike the usual hackathon format where participants solve problem statements over a few hours or a few days. The unconventional approach was designed to give participants the space to develop sharper, more meaningful responses to the complex challenges before them.
10 To support participants on their ‘learn-as-you-hack’ journey, DBS also organised a design thinking masterclass on the bank’s in-house innovation framework that enables participants to test, develop and validate data-driven insights as they work on their proposals. They also received first-hand insights on industry measures to counter scams that would help them with their ideation. Attendees also got to hear from industry experts, such as Carolyn Misir, Principal Psychologist at the Police Psychological Services Department, to better understand the psychology behind scams.
DBS, Singapore Courts and the NCPC
21 October 2022
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.
Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 13 consecutive years from 2009 to 2021.
DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, as it banks the Asian way. Through the DBS Foundation, the bank creates impact beyond banking by supporting social enterprises: businesses with a double bottom-line of profit and social and/or environmental impact. DBS Foundation also gives back to society in various ways, including equipping communities with future-ready skills and building food resilience. With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities.
For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.
About Singapore Courts
The Singapore Courts – comprising the Supreme Court, State Courts and Family Justice Courts – is one of the three constitutional pillars of government in Singapore. Known collectively as SG Courts, we are integrated and coordinated to serve as one judiciary. As an organ of state, the judiciary’s function is to independently administer justice. Headed by the Chief Justice, we are a forward-looking, innovative and trusted judiciary. Built on judicial professionalism and transparency, we maintain the highest standards of integrity in safeguarding our community. We pledge to ensure equal and continuous access to justice, and we are committed to deliver justice that is fair and impartial.
For more information, please visit www.judiciary.gov.sg.
The NCPC is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting public awareness of and concern about crime and to propagate the concept of self-help in crime prevention. The Council comprises representatives from the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as from the public sector and the Singapore Police Force.
About Singapore Together
Singapore Together is about Singaporeans working with one another, and with the Government, to build our shared future. The Government will open up more partnership opportunities for Singaporeans to participate, and support more citizen-led efforts. Whatever our background or interests, we can each step forward to contribute in areas that we care about. By working together, we can turn diversity into strength and transform challenges into opportunities, to build a Singapore that present and future generations of Singaporeans will be proud of.
For more information, visit www.sg.
|Most Innovative Idea
|Our solution uses machine learning algorithms to analyse and verify the legitimacy of the inputted job offer, on top of which we include a gaming element that users can use to practice identifying scams.
|Hosted by reputable organisations, we thought this hackathon would be a meaningful experience, and a perfect avenue for us to apply a multidisciplinary approach in coming up with a solution. Here, we learned the importance of first analysing the problem from different stakeholder perspectives, before finding ways to tackle it. We also learned the importance of product testing, as well as how to structure our analysis through the DBS 4D framework. - Sujitha Pandiarajan Sumathy
|Most Feasible Idea
|Code of Conduct
|Hook’d is a one-stop platform designed to influence its users’ psyche vis-à-vis phishing attempts through exposure to realistic phishing simulations, and by delivering personalised micro-training of bite-sized anti-scam knowledge.
|The anti-scam topic is extremely relevant today. Being completely new to hackathons, my team and I thought that this was a great opportunity for us to contribute to the discussion and do something good, which is also something different from what we do in our daily work. I still remember that ‘Eureka’ moment when our solution first took shape, and am impressed by the lateral thought processes in our many discussions, which were instrumental to refining Hook’d. One key takeaway for us from the hackathon was the DBS Design Thinking 4D framework, which has been very helpful in ensuring that we take time to understand the nature of the problem and the associated pain points from the users’ perspectives, without which it would have been much harder for us to come up with our solution. - Leonard Lee
|Most Life-Changing Idea
|Scamoorai is an app and web app that builds on ScamShield to implement an easy reporting system, a call and text scam detector, an automated scam checker and an interactive chatbot operator
|We decided to join the hackathon as we really resonated with its goals and wanted to try our hand at combatting scams. A major takeaway for us was being able to come up with a solution that was human-centric, intuitive and something that users would need. We learned that focusing our energy and time to solve one pain point was more effective for us, and we were able to develop a more detailed and comprehensive solution, as compared to when we were trying to solve everything. The insightful discussions we had with our mentors were the most memorable part of the experience, as it allowed us to gain a holistic perspective about scams, which helped us to create a solution that would not only help our users, but also those who work behind-the-scenes to fight scams more efficiently. We really value the opportunity we had to gain new perspectives from industry experts, while honing our skills in design thinking, which is a skill that is very important for the future. - Lauren Koek
|Most Human-Centred Idea
|An experiential-learning mobile game where players can learn more about the psychological tactics utilised by scammers.
|Anyone can fall victim to scams, which is an increasingly prevalent issue that has greatly impacted victims. Thus, we joined the hackathon in hopes to explore possible innovative solutions to increase awareness and combat scams. With the guidance of our mentor, we were able to think deeper, reframe the problem and adopt the victim’s point of view, in developing our solution. - Kho Wee Han