Who to notify about messages, calls from unlicensed moneylenders

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) remains committed to enforcing the Do Not Call (DNC) rules (Do Not Call Registry does not appear to stop unsolicited messages, calls, by Mr Anthony Ng Seet Boo; July 10).

Since the rules came into force in January 2014, one million Singapore telephone numbers have been registered with the DNC Registry.

The PDPC has also received and investigated some 14,450 DNC-related complaints against businesses, of which more than 4,800 resulted in the PDPC taking enforcement or other regulatory action.

We have also seen improvement in public and business awareness of the DNC Registry in recent years.

In our survey last year, the PDPC found that 75 per cent of industry respondents that conducted telemarketing were aware of the need to obtain individuals' consent and check the DNC Registry before calling, faxing or sending marketing material.

In addition, we found that 91 per cent of consumers surveyed felt that the DNC Registry enabled better control over the kinds of messages they received.

While the PDPC will look into DNC-related complaints related to registered business entities, complaints from the public involving suspected unlicensed moneylending and illegal gambling are referred to the police as these are serious criminal offences.

As we have advised Mr Ng on multiple occasions, members of the public who receive calls, SMSes or WhatsApp messages from suspected unlicensed moneylenders or loan sharks, or are aware of related activities, can notify the police by submitting the information online via i-Witness at http://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness

The public can also call the National Crime Prevention Council's "X Ah Long" hotline on 1800-924-5664 for advice on unlicensed moneylending matters.

Members of the public are urged not to reply or respond to these messages or phone calls and to block the numbers on their mobile devices instead.

The PDPC will continue to work closely with stakeholders and the relevant authorities, such as the Singapore Police Force, to deter such activities.

Karen Low (Ms)

Director

Corporate Communications

Personal Data Protection Commission

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2018, with the headline 'Who to notify about messages, calls from unlicensed moneylenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe