SMSes from organisations not registered with IMDA to be labelled ‘likely scam’ from Jan 31

All organisations that send SMSes using alphanumeric sender IDs are required to register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry. PHOTO: IMDA

SINGAPORE – Recipients of SMSes from organisations that have not signed up with a registry by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will see the text messages labelled as “likely scam” from Jan 31.

In a move to tackle the scam scourge here, IMDA has announced that all organisations that send SMSes using alphanumeric sender IDs are required to register with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR).

“This registration is to better protect consumers against non-registered SMSes that may be scams,” said IMDA on Wednesday.

It added that consumers who receive SMSes labelled as “likely scam” should exercise caution as the system functions similarly to a spam bin. If they are unsure, consumers are encouraged to check with family and friends.

IMDA said that all organisations that use alphanumeric sender IDs, which typically contain brand names and may carry a mix of both letters and numbers, should register early with the registry.

Those that have yet to register are advised to do so, the authority added.

As at January, more than 1,200 organisations using a total of more than 2,600 SMS sender IDs – including financial institutions, e-commerce operators, logistics providers, and small and medium-sized enterprises – have registered.

IMDA said it has reached out to organisations through associations such as the Singapore Business Federation, the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Banks in Singapore, to encourage them to sign up with the SSIR.

“The new mandatory SSIR regime forms part of an ongoing multi-layered approach to strengthen protection against scams. This has been done with telecoms operators to systemically reduce scam calls and SMSes coming through the communication networks,” said IMDA.

After the SSIR was set up in March 2022, Singapore saw a 64 per cent reduction in scams through SMS from the last quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022.

The authority noted that scam cases perpetrated via SMS made up around 8 per cent of scam reports in the second quarter of 2022, down from 10 per cent in the same period of 2021.

“Combatting scams is a whole-of-society effort, and the public should remain vigilant. Scammers will continue to change their methods and tactics, and there is no foolproof measure even as we continue to monitor and implement additional safeguards,” said IMDA.

Organisations that are keen to register with the SSIR can contact the Singapore Network Information Centre at smsregistry@sgnic.sg

Registration started in October 2022.

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