We refer to Mr Koh Wai Kit's letter, "Telcos the first line of defence against spoof traffic" (Jan 15), Straits Times editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang's commentary "Make banks pay for phishing scam losses" (Jan 16), and the article, "7 ways to stem the scourge of scams and phishing" (Jan 16).
Scams are a cause of concern worldwide. In Singapore, there has been ongoing work to combat this, including identifying the risks of scams from spoofed SMS sender IDs.
In August last year, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) initiated the Singapore SMS SenderID protection registry pilot, in collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This registry enables organisations to register the SMS sender ID headers they wish to protect. When there is unauthorised use of this protected SMS sender ID, the messages will be blocked.
The success of this measure, however, requires business and organisations such as banks to participate in the pilot, which would include registering the SMS sender IDs they wish to protect, and choosing the approved SMS aggregators that are allowed to send SMSes on the banks' behalf.
When the registry was initiated, some banks signed up for the registry. Other organisations such as Lazada and SingPost also signed up. We urge more businesses and organisations that use SMS sender IDs to do so.
In addition, Singapore's telcos have been collaborating with IMDA to introduce other sectorwide measures, which include blocking commonly spoofed numbers, prefixing all incoming international calls with "+65" to alert the public to a potential scam call and educating their users to recognise and avoid scams.
Scams will evolve and new threats will emerge. IMDA will continue to work with all partners to enhance mitigating measures.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688.
Foo Wen Dee
Communications and Marketing
Infocomm Media Development Authority