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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Police to text anti-scam alert

Police announced today that starting January 2, its Anti-Deception Coordination Centre (ADCC) will expand the Upstream Scam Intervention scheme to include sending SMS messages to potential scam victims as a means to provide timely alerts and advice.

 

The force explained that the goal behind the move is to combat deception and minimise its impact on individuals and society.

 

The ADCC has registered with the Office of the Communications Authority’s Short Message Service Sender Registration Scheme. Its Registered SMS Sender ID is #ADCC18222.

 

The Upstream Scam Intervention scheme was launched in May 2023 in collaboration with 12 retail banks to enhance the efficacy of preventing deception and mitigating losses suffered by scam victims. By analysing suspicious bank accounts, the scheme identifies individuals who may be at risk of falling victim to scams.

 

Through co-ordinated efforts between the banks and Police, potential victims will be contacted via phone calls, police visits or SMS. During such interactions, the ADCC or bank officers will provide potential victims with information such as details of the implicated bank accounts so as to facilitate the potential victims’ verification and assessment.

 

As of end-November last year, 579 ongoing deception cases were intervened under the scheme.

 

Police reiterate that officers and bank staff will never request the disclosure of personal information or banking credentials. Furthermore, they will not ask users to transfer funds to any accounts during these interactions.

 

To verify callers’ identities, the public can call their banks or the ADCC directly. They are also encouraged to use the Scameter to check if the recipient bank accounts are associated with reported scams.


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