Are telcos doing enough to protect consumers from scam?

Scam calls have been an issue for Singapore society for the longest time, with elderly citizens often being the victims.

Even with all these reports of scam calls, neither the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) nor any of the telcos have stepped forward to offer a solution.

Browsing the comments sections of the telcos’ social media pages, one finds generic recommendations of “We strongly advise users to block the number directly on the device itself as we are unable to do so on our end”.

Telcos have been posting on online media platforms alerting users to scam calls, but it is clear that those who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, do not use these platforms. Are IMDA and the telcos being proactive enough?

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, it seems as if there has been an increasing number of scam calls made to Singaporeans. Within just one week, I received four such calls.

In the past, these scam calls were usually masked with an overseas phone number. Recently, some of the scam calls are showing local numbers.

An attempt to call back any of the local numbers would lead one to a generic local telco answering machine, with a recorded message saying the number is currently unavailable. This shows that the local number is registered with one of the telcos in Singapore.

One wonders whether these phone numbers were bought by the scammers themselves and used to mask their calls for such activities.

Should a centralised phone repository be set up for Singaporeans to report and add such numbers to the database?

More importantly, should the telcos do their part to block, trace and investigate such numbers?

With today’s technology, are IMDA and the telcos doing enough to protect Singaporeans, especially the elderly, from such scam calls?

 

HS Tan

 

 

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9 Responses to “Are telcos doing enough to protect consumers from scam?”

  • N.Jungne:

    They are more interested in re- contract than anything else.

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  • Bapak:

    There are many “scams” in telco’s contracts.

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  • TruBlu:

    Hahaha, what a Q?
    TELCO$ are scamming their custonmers themselves???

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  • section of the population:

    //Scam calls have been an issue for Singapore society for the longest time, with elderly citizens often being the victims.//

    well, with digitalization and living in the present era undergoing fast-paced high-tech changes and with many services (with clients data & info) which may be outsourced to third party vendors (with staff coming from all sorts of places via open-leg policy), of course sinkie land is a very fertile ground for such thing to happen especially when a significant section of the population (especially the elderly ?) is not so proficient on the intricacies of how their information can be abused and their trust exploited ???

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  • PAP FIXED YOU:

    IMDA is sleeping on the job?

    Or is it afraid to step on certain toes?

    It’s not 100% independent that’s why.

    Shame.

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  • Great Asia:

    In China, mobile phone packages start with minimum 20G of data. Here in Singapore, consumers get 3G only, and will have to pay for any additional G.

    That’s how PAP milk the country to feed the GLCs.

    We missed the 4G evolution and the world is racing toward 5G now, yet we are still sleeping. All our telcos have been slumbering in the past 10 years because cronies of PAP are managing the GLCs.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • @Great Asia

    Actually still got 300mb one for SGD$4 a month. But most now all 10gb to unlimited liao but a bit expensive starting from SGD$20 a month.

    The plans I am currently using is from YiDong and LianTong, Yidong is SGD$2 a month only for calls and messages while my data plan with LianTong is SGD$6 for 30GB of data. We normally won’t use a lot of data because most of the apps are free like QQ and Wechat movies, Tudou, etc which are not counted towards daily usage. There is also no roaming charges for cities in China liao.

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  • with users sparsely populated:

    //The plans I am currently using is from YiDong and LianTong, Yidong is SGD$2 a month only for calls and messages while my data plan with LianTong is SGD$6 for 30GB of data. We normally won’t use a lot of data because most of the apps are free like QQ and Wechat movies, Tudou, etc which are not counted towards daily usage. There is also no roaming charges for cities in China liao.//

    sinkie land is high cost structure due to high rent-seeking sometimes masquerading as good quality services ?? in fact, when a country is densely populated, the cost of building & servicing any infrastructure (per capita / per unit of area coverage) should be lower than a bigger country with users sparsely populated in a much wider area ?? and hence the reduced costs should be passed down and be reflective in the final lower price to consumers ??

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  • Straight "A"s Marlboro Tan:

    Great Asia:

    That’s how PAP milk the country to feed the GLCs.

    We missed the 4G evolution and the world is racing toward 5G now, yet we are still sleeping. All our telcos have been slumbering in the past 10 years because cronies of PAP are managing the GLCs.

    actually its the lack of foresight of these GLCs. They brought about open net for fibre internet ( boasts higher speeds) when ADSL 2++ was sufficient enough to ride the tide and 3G was already good enough until 5G. 5G presents a unifying of both wifi and mobile tower technologies into one.

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