Forum: A '+' prefix does not address root of scam call problem

I welcome the Ministry of Communications and Information's efforts in implementing the "+" prefix as a way to protect Singaporeans against scam calls (Display of '+' prefix will help identify possible overseas spoof calls, March 10).

This, however, does little in addressing the root of the problem.

It is highly unlikely that the elderly would be able to remember that the only difference between a scam call and a legitimate local call is a "+" prefix.

What proactive steps are being taken to ensure that the elderly do not fall prey to such scam calls? Can more be done?

Why is the prefix solution being implemented only now, when this issue has been publicly discussed for the longest time with so many elderly Singaporeans falling victim?

It was reported that the "+" prefix measure is in addition to rules requiring local telcos to block commonly spoofed numbers such as 999 and 995 (New '+' way to help consumers spot overseas spoof calls, March 4).

Why, then, have the telcos been communicating on their social media sites that they strongly advise users to block numbers directly from the device itself as they are unable to do so from their end?

This does not make any sense. It appears the telcos have not been upfront with consumers in their communication.

Also, are the telcos doing enough to block, trace and investigate these scam calls?

What about the local numbers used in the scam calls? Have the authorities or telcos made an effort to investigate them after the numerous reports by consumers?

Tan Hee Seng

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