In accordance with the measures announced by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), any mass SMS sent by organisations from tomorrow (January 31st) onwards, using alphanumeric senders IDs, will be labelled as “Likely-SCAM” if they have not registered with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR).
As part of measures announced in October last year, to better protect consumers against SMS that may be part of scams, IMDA had mandated the requirement for organisations to register with SSIR.
According to the IMDA, the new mandatory SSIR regime forms part of an ongoing multi-layered approach to strengthen protection against scams.
Over the past few years, Singapore has been hit by a number of SMS-based phishing scams of which one most notable was the OCBC phishing scam in December 2021 in which 26 customers reported a loss of about S$140,000.
The IMDA effort is in coordination with the telecom operators with the objective of systemically reducing scam calls and SMS coming through the communication networks.
Since the setting up of the SSIR in March 2022, there has been a 64 percent reduction in scams through SMS from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022, according to the IMDA.
Scam cases perpetrated via SMS made up around 8 percent of scam reports in second quarter of 2022, down from 10 percent in 2021.
As of January 2023, more than 1,200 organisations, using more than 2,600 SMS Sender IDs, have already registered with SSIR.
This includes financial institutions, e-commerce operators, logistics providers, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that send SMS to their customers who have registered with the SSIR.
Over the past months, IMDA had reached out to organisations through aggregators and 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 for the SSIR.
Noting that combatting scams is a whole of society effort, IMDA said the public should continue to remain vigilant.
On its part IMDA will continue to work with other stakeholders in the fight against scams, the organisation said.