Parliament Sitting on 9 May 2022

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

42. Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the number of overseas scam calls that have been reported in 2021 and 2022 respectively; and (b) whether requiring telecommunication providers to give users the option to block all overseas calls will be viable.

Answer:

1. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) and the Singapore Police Force (“SPF”) are closely partnering the local telecommunication providers (“telcos”) to block suspicious calls. In 2021, the telcos blocked an average of 15 million incoming overseas calls each month, including spoofed numbers resembling those of local Government agencies and emergency services. Telcos have also added the “+” prefix for all incoming overseas calls since April 2020 to alert users to overseas calls, especially as scammers continue to spoof local calls using the “65” prefix.

2. Although there are a small number of telcos internationally that allow consumers to block overseas calls as part of their commercial service offerings, we are not aware of any regulator that requires telcos to do so. IMDA is currently in discussion with the telcos on the feasibility and implications of providing consumers with the option to block overseas calls. A decision will be taken after the review. 

MCI response to PQ on Take-up Rates for Various Digital Support Programmes and Ensuring Availability of Digital Learning Devices for Students Parliament QAs Infocomm Media, Public Comms, Digital Readiness 04 Jul 22
MCI response to PQ on Programmes to Train Seniors to Adopt Digital Services Including Making Online Purchases and Using Digital Banking Services Parliament QAs Digital Readiness, Infocomm Media, Public Comms 04 Jul 22
MCI response to PQ on Steps to Protect Singapore's Critical Infrastructure from Malware Threat Parliament QAs Cyber Security 04 Jul 22
MCI response to PQ on Avenues of Recourse when Social Media Organisations Do Not Comply with Government's Directions Parliament QAs Digital Defence, Public Comms 04 Jul 22
MCI response to PQ on Penalties for Internet Service Providers for Fault Repairs Taking Longer than 24 Hours Parliament QAs Infocomm Media, Public Comms 04 Jul 22
Speech by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, at Singapore Tamil Youth Conference on 2 July 2022 Speeches Public Comms 02 Jul 22