Oral Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Oral Reply to Parliamentary Questions on Effectiveness of ScamShield in Preventing Scams

Published: 22 November 2023


Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether the Ministry has been able to track the effectiveness of ScamShield in preventing scams since it was launched; (b) what percentage of the local population has downloaded this mobile application; and (c) whether the Ministry intends to introduce ScamShield or similar measures to identify and block scammers from using social media, e-commerce platforms and messaging mobile applications like WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to trick victims.

Mr Derrick Goh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the public adoption rate of ScamShield since its launch; (b) what is the Ministry’s assessment of the effectiveness of ScamShield; and (c) whether ScamShield complements malware detection apps used by banking customers.


Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development:

1. The iOS and Android versions of the ScamShield mobile app were launched in November 2020 and September 2022 respectively. As of October 2023, there have been about 750,000 downloads. We do not track the number of unique users. A user may download ScamShield on multiple devices.

2. ScamShield has been effective in protecting users from scam calls and SMSes. Since March 2022, about 80,000 unique scam-tainted phone numbers have been blacklisted and blocked by ScamShield, and about 5 million SMSes have been flagged to users as potential scams.

3. On top of phone calls blocked by ScamShield, the Police work closely with telcos to block mobile lines suspected to be involved in scams. In the first half of 2023, more than 3,700 mobile lines which were believed to be used in scams were flagged by the Police for termination. In addition, telcos blocked about 180 million suspected scam calls at the network level during this period.

4. The GovTech team is making enhancements to the ScamShield app so that users can more easily report scams. It is also working to improve the accuracy of scam SMS detection, and to help users more easily set up the correct permission settings.