SINGAPORE: Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, Sun Xueling, revealed in Parliament on Wednesday (22 Nov) that Singapore’s anti-fraud mobile application ScamShield successfully blocked approximately 80,000 fraudulent phone numbers and detected a staggering 5 million fraudulent text messages since March 2022. ScamShield was launched in November 2020 on Apple and September 2022 on Android.

Disclosing that ScamShield has been downloaded around 750,000 times by users seeking protection against various forms of fraud, Ms Sun indicated that the app’s efficiency in preventing deceptive calls and messages has become a crucial tool in Singapore’s efforts to safeguard citizens from evolving fraudulent tactics.

Beyond the app’s individual impact, Ms Sun noted collaborative efforts with telecommunications companies and law enforcement agencies. In the first half of this year, more than 3,700 suspicious mobile phone numbers linked to fraud were reported and terminated by the police. Simultaneously, telecom companies blocked approximately 1.8 million suspected scam calls during the same period.

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Highlighting the dynamic nature of scams, Ms Sun stressed the government’s proactive stance against fraud gangs operating through social media, e-commerce, and text messaging applications. When alerted to such activities, she said the authorities promptly request platform operators to remove relevant accounts, demonstrating a multi-pronged approach to tackling fraudulent schemes.

Specifically, Ms Sun revealed that, in the first half of this year, over 10,000 mobile phone instant application WhatsApp numbers and 1,500 online nicknames and advertisements associated with fraud were reported and terminated by the police.

Looking ahead, Ms Sun said that a new act to address Internet crime will be gradually implemented in the first quarter of next year. This legislation aims to equip the police with enhanced tools and capabilities to combat the ever-evolving landscape of online fraud activities more effectively.