Enhanced measures against scam SMS

This functions similar to a “spam filter and spam bin”

As part of the measures announced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in October last year, all organisations that send SMS using alphanumeric Sender IDs are required to register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (“SSIR”). This registration is to better protect consumers against non-registered SMS that may be scams.

Consumers receiving SMS labelled as “Likely-SCAM” to exercise caution

From 31 January 2023, non-registered SMS will be labelled as “Likely-SCAM”. This functions similarly to a “spam filter and spam bin”. Consumers may receive non-registered SMS labelled as “Likely-SCAM”. Consumers are advised to exercise caution. If unsure, consumers are encouraged to check with family and friends. Collectively, this will enhance our resilience against scams. (Please see Annex A for an example of what a “Likely-SCAM” SMS will look like)

Organisations advised to register Sender IDs

All organisations that use alphanumeric Sender IDs must register early with the SSIR. This is to give adequate time as non-registered SMS Sender IDs after 31 January 2023 will be labelled as “Likely-SCAM”. Organisations which have not registered their Sender IDs are advised to do so.

As of January 2023, more than 1,200 organisations, using more than 2,600 SMS Sender IDs, have already registered. This includes financial institutions, e-commerce operators, logistics providers, and SMEs that send SMS to their customers which have registered with the SSIR.

Over the past months, IMDA had reached out to organisations through aggregators and associations such as Singapore Business Federation, the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, and the Association of Banks in Singapore, to encourage them to sign up for the SSIR.

IMDA continues to partner the public in the fight against scams

The new mandatory SSIR regime forms part of an ongoing multi-layered approach to strengthen protection against scams. This has been done with the telecom operators to systematically reduce scam calls and SMS coming through the communication networks. Since the setting up of the SSIR in March 2022, there was a 64 per cent reduction in scams through SMS from Q4 2021 to Q2 2022. Scam cases perpetrated via SMS made up around 8 per cent of scam reports in Q2 2022, down from 10 per cent in 2021. (Please see Annex B for a summary of the multi-layered approach to combat scam SMS and scam calls).

Combatting scams is a whole of society effort, and the public should continue to remain vigilant. Scammers will continue to change their methods and tactics and there is no fool-proof measure even as we continue to monitor and implement additional safeguards. IMDA will continue to work with other stakeholders in the fight against scams. A discerning public is the key in this fight, where consumers are individually alert and raise collective awareness by sharing scam prevention tips with friends and loved ones.



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