Can gaming help teens steer clear of mobile scams?

Dundee company teams up with Abertay University to test people's awareness of harmful messages.

Developers in Dundee are looking to tackle the issue of mobile phone scams through the medium of gaming.

A local company has teamed up with Abertay University to test people’s awareness of harmful messages, and hopefully alert a younger audience.

This design, called ‘Gone Smishing’, presents players with a series of messages.

The challenge, to decide whether they’re genuine or part of a scam.

“It’s just so boring to constantly learn through walls of text,” said Jamie Bankhead from Konglomerate Games.

“Teenagers definitely won’t read it all or take it in. Bringing games into it makes it a lot more fun and they take it in a lot better.”

Around £1.2bn was fraudulently stolen in the UK last year according to bank industry group UK Finance.

Cyber security experts say scam text messages have become increasingly common since the pandemic.

“At one point it went up by about 600%,” said Lynsay Shepherd, a senior lecturer at Abertay University.

“Went we into lockdown we all got a text warning us we were going into lockdown.

“A few days later scammers picked up on that and were sending out texts saying you’ve been fined £20, you’ve left your house more than once a day.

“We noticed scammers were keeping step with government announcements.”

The game has been put on display at the Dundee Science Centre with developers planning to roll it out in schools and community groups in the future.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in