Phone scams show need to counter ingrained fear of authority

It is hard to believe that people are still being duped in phone scams ("Over $4m lost in phone scams here since March"; June 9).

One would have thought that a previous report, "Nearly 400 reports filed on scam phone calls; $1m lost" (April 17), would have alerted potential victims to the scam.

It seems that many people are easily cowed by threats of legal prosecution and are really afraid of getting into trouble with the law.

Have people become victims of their own fears?

We need to counter the pervasive mood of blindly submitting to authority figures, and temper it with common sense, to ensure our own personal safety.

It should start with how those in legitimate authority use their power when dealing with people.

As a first step, it must be made known that people are allowed to question and verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be an official investigating an alleged offence, without fear of repercussions.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)