UK: In the U.K., one of the earliest approaches implemented in combating scams and fraud was to establish a consistent and streamlined taxonomy on scams and fraud terminologies across the entirety of the market. As there are as many different definitions of what constitutes to a scam, this consistent taxonomy, as outlined in UK Finance, aimed to properly define key terminologies related to scams and refine the definitions and categorisation of scams and frauds.
India: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently introduced an interesting approach to educate the public and drive simplified conversations about the various types of ongoing scams in India—in the form of a comic book inspired by the classic ‘Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves’ story. The 80-page spin-off comic book entitled ‘Raju and the 40 Thieves’, uses comic illustrations and the layman’s language to explain about all the modus operandi of financial fraudsters and digital scams as part of its customer awareness initiatives. It offers simple tips and dos and don’ts, with the titular character Raju representing a typical citizen depicting different roles—a senior citizen, a happy-go-lucky person, a farmer, etc.
China: Financial literacy has become such an important aspect of China’s population, so much that it has made its way into the academics sector. In China, anti-fraud courses are taught in colleges and universities as part of the syllabus because the government addresses that many young adults, especially college students, have become victims of online scams and fraud. Jointly carried out by the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Education, the campaign will ask students across the country to create short films, videos, animations and posters focused on the theme of anti-fraud, the initiative aims to shed light on the common scams in China, including blackmailing, impersonating a government official to extort money, online dating scams, and more.
These are just some examples of how different countries have been combating online scams and fraud in their own unique ways. In the end, what is important is to understand that fighting scams and fraud is an uphill battle and that it would require all hands on deck to really combat the prevalence of Internet scammers and fraudsters.
No matter which medium or approach we use to spread the word about financial literacy, it is important for the public to first be familiar with all the potential red flags and triggers of possible scam situations. As we continue to progress and benefit from the rapid boom of digitalisation and the online environment, we must also remember to be proactive in building resilience against the risks and threats posed by scammers and fraudsters on the Internet and beyond.