Are you often bombarded by unwanted messages from tuition centres, moneylenders and assorted annoyances? Chances are, you’ve not added your number to the Do Not Call registry. These unsolicited messages and calls have long been a part of our lives. But we all know that in this case, ignorance isn’t bliss. So we’ve come up with solid steps to help you beat the nuisance of spam and more sinister scams in Singapore!


Do Not Call: Your first defence.

The first step is to set up your shields with Do Not Call! It lets you opt out of commercial marketing calls or messages, especially those which are promoting goods or services. This way, you’ll be much less likely to receive these messages via phone call or SMS. You can register any mobile, home or office number. Plus it’s free and will stay in effect for as long as you wish!

But do note that this does not block messages from senders like:

  • market surveyors and researchers,
  • charities,
  • individuals who send personal messages
  • government agencies;
  • or organisations who already have an ongoing relationship with you (e.g. where you’re a subscriber).

Do Not Call may not be fool-proof, but it’s a relatively easy yet fairly effective step to weed out most unwelcome approaches.

 


How to register.

If you haven’t added your number to the Do Not Call registry, you can do so now! You immediately can do it online, via SMS or phone. Once successful, you can say goodbye to (most) unsolicited messages. And should you still receive spam 30 days after registering, you can formally lodge a complaint here.


Blocking spam calls/SMS.

If Do Not Call doesn’t bring you peace from these pests, it’s time to take drastic action… block them! There are a number of methods to block a sender/caller in iOS/Android. But we’ve picked out what we feel is the fastest way for both. (Do note that steps vary with each phone model and OS version.)

 

iOS (Calls & SMS)

  1. Tap the blue “i” info icon beside the scam caller or sender. (Additional step for SMS: Tap the name of the sender.)
  2. Scroll down the contact card and tap Block this Caller.

 

Android (Calls)

  1. Open your Phone app.
  2. Go to Recent Contacts. Tap the offending contact or number to block.
  3. Tap Details.
  4. Tap the three vertical dots, usually at your screen’s top right.
  5. Tap Block Number (or Contact).

 

Android (SMS) – if you’re on Kitkat OS

  1. In your messaging app, tap and hold the offending message.
  2. Add it to the spam list!

 

For more control in Kitkat…

  1. Tap the three vertical dots, usually at your screen’s top right.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Scroll down to find Spam filter and turn it on.
  4. Get more control with 3 options: Add to spam numbers / Add to spam phrases / Block unknown senders.

What if it’s a scam?

Besides spam calls and SMS, there are the ever-present scams in Singapore. These sharks have now taken to platforms like Facebook, WeChat and have become increasingly well-versed in the craft of deceit. They’ve masqueraded as telcos and even your friends. In 2016, police said residents here lost over $4 million to scam calls impersonating as parcel company SingPost.

Next time you encounter something dubious, visit Scam Alert to check if someone’s already been a victim. It’s a great resource to check out the latest and most (unfortunately) inventive scams in Singapore that plot to phish or cheat you of your cash, credit card details and privacy. You can also check out the Singapore Police Force Facebook page for the latest scam updates or warnings.

Sure, most savvy millennials can quickly see through such ploys. But what actions can you actually take to make a difference? Of course, Do Not Call won’t be able to protect you from such scams in Singapore. Plus, blocking isn’t enough to help prevent others from falling prey. Here are 2 powerful steps you can take if you suspect any call/SMS is a scam:

 

  1. Lodge a Police Report online.

    You log in with your SingPass, share details or even screenshots. It doesn’t take long and will go a long way in helping the authorities track down the scammers.

  2. Share details of the scam via I-Witness.

    In this case, you won’t even need to log in via SingPass! Simply click the “I-Witness” link at the bottom of the page and fill in the form.


So there you have it – a quick guide on how to deal with spam calls/SMS and scams in Singapore. We hope you found it useful. We strongly recommend adding your number to the Do Not Call registry now! And if you ever encounter a potential scam, why not blow the whistle? After all, the next victim could be someone’s grandparent who isn’t tech-savvy nor aware of the dangers that lurk.

Don’t know if you should pick up a call? Get our Caller Number Display service to identify unfamiliar callers who slip past the Do Not Call registry!

 


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