First, it was nuisance SMSes; now I am getting calls

Posed photo of a man talking on the phone.
Posed photo of a man talking on the phone.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

In the past month, I have been getting many more messages from online betting platforms and unlicensed moneylenders.

They were sent via SMS and WhatsApp, and I would get them as often as three times a day.

The last straw for me was when I started to receive unsolicited phone calls from these people, about three times a week. The caller would begin by saying: "Hello, brother, I can offer you a quick loan at good rate..."

The messages and calls seem to come from many different sources as the wordings and phone numbers used were different each time.

Each time I blocked those numbers, new messages and calls would come from new numbers.

When the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) and Do Not Call (DNC) provisions were enacted several years ago, I registered to be protected. It worked well for a while.

I have lodged complaints through the Singapore Police Force's I-Witness website and they were attended to diligently.

But the last time I lodged a complaint there, about two years ago, the reply was that the police were unable to trace the culprits. I felt that the authorities were overwhelmed with such complaints and could not deal with them effectively.

I urge the relevant authorities to raise their efforts in enforcing the PDPA and DNC. This is needed to prevent more innocent people from being lured into gambling and debt schemes that may grow into big social problems.

Steve Goh Han Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2019, with the headline 'First, it was nuisance SMSes; now I am getting calls'. Print Edition | Subscribe