Forum: Telcos have a part to play in stopping scam calls

A posed photo of a scam caller.
A posed photo of a scam caller.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Learning from the experiences of victims and staying safe is just part of the solution when it comes to tackling online scams (Online scams remain a worry, Aug 30).

Such high-tech crimes come about because of the ease with which criminals can contact prospective victims anonymously.

Those responsible for facilitating such tactics have as much, if not more, responsibility in ensuring public safety.

Thus far, the lucrative telcos are keeping mum and not doing anything significant to stop this menace. The telcos have as yet not given a good reason why tracing a scammer using a telephone line is so difficult to do.

Telcos say they do not have the technological ability to efficiently trace a call, which is baffling because they already offer customers a call-back feature for a fee.

Wouldn't this be the most efficient method of tracing a scammer through the phone call-back feature by the telcos if a customer did not subscribe to a caller ID display?

When scammers know that they can be easily identified, they will be less willing to try so easily.

There is no excuse why the telcos are not fulfilling their civic duty to keep customers' phone lines safe from scammers.

Saying that pranksters will abuse the system is not acceptable for the same reason that not intervening encourages scammers to intimidate customers.

The Government should compel the telcos to set up a system where customers can block the phone numbers of scammers without any fuss.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2020, with the headline 'Telcos have a part to play in stopping scam calls'. Print Edition | Subscribe