Anti-scam app ScamShield now available for Android users

(From left) Open Government Products director Li Hongyi, Minister Sun Xueling, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, NCPC chairman Gerald Singham and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Policy) Jerry See launching the Android version of ScamShield. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Android users can now download an app called ScamShield, which can block calls from blacklisted numbers that have been verified as scam-related.

The app, which can also identify scam SMSes, is available on Google Play Store.

It has been available to iOS users since November 2020.

The Android version was officially launched on Wednesday by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Minister of State for Home Affairs and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, during a dinner to commemorate the National Crime Prevention Council's (NCPC) 40th anniversary at Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

The app, developed by NCPC and Open Government Products, a division of the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), blocks calls from a database that is managed by NCPC and the police. It was soft-launched on Sept 1.

The app blocks calls from a database that is managed by the National Crime Prevention Council and police. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

While the Android version has almost the same features as the iOS one - such as blocking and reporting scam messages and calls - the iOS version is able to divert scam messages to a junk folder, while the Android version only notifies users of them.

This is due to specific limitations of the Android operating system, the police said on Wednesday.

Scam SMSes detected by ScamShield are sent to NCPC and the police for collation, which the police said helps keep the app updated, to better protect users from scam calls and messages.

The police said that as at Sept 14, the ScamShield's iOS version has been downloaded by more than 315,000 users and has resulted in more than 5.8 million SMSes being reported, and more than 29,000 phone numbers, believed to be used for scam calls, blocked.

In January, NCPC chairman Gerald Singham responded to a forum letter in The Straits Times which asked about the progress of ScamShield for Android phones.

Mr Singham said that while it had been earlier announced that the version would be available at the end of 2021, timelines were delayed as GovTech had to reprioritise resources towards supporting the Government's response to Covid-19.

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