Oral Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on Whether Number of Artificial Intelligence Voice Cloning Scams has Increased

Published: 03 April 2024


Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there has been an increase in the number of artificial intelligence voice cloning scams in Singapore; (b) how many of such scams have occurred this year to date; and (c) how is the Government dealing with these types of scams, including in the areas of enforcement, public education and implementation of technological solutions to prevent their occurrence.


Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development:

1. Mr Speaker, the Singapore Police Force, or SPF, has not been tracking the number of such cases. While we have received some reports where the complainants had alleged that voice cloning techniques were used by the scammers, the number is not high.

2. Regardless of scam typology, the SPF works closely with stakeholders, such as local telecommunication companies and messaging application companies, to prevent criminals from using our communication channels as conduits for scams. In 2023, more than 9,200 mobile lines and more than 29,200 WhatsApp lines, which were believed to be used in scams, were submitted for termination. 

3. In addition, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, or IMDA, will soon be imposing limits on the number of post-paid SIM cards per subscriber. 

4. As we have mentioned several times in this House, the fight against scams requires a whole-of-society effort. The industry needs to play its part. For example, social media platforms and messaging apps should introduce enhanced user verification measures to weed out inauthentic accounts, and prevent scammers from abusing them to perpetrate scams.

5. On its part, the public has to remain vigilant, and take the necessary steps to ACT against scams. 

6. First, Add. Everyone should make a proactive effort to add security features to their devices to protect themselves against scams. For example, add anti-virus software, and update our mobile devices with the latest security patches. 

7. Second, Check. When receiving a phone call or message asking for your personal information, banking credentials, or for money transfers, always check and verify separately, even if the other party sounds like someone you know. 

8. Third, Tell. Tell the authorities about your scam encounters. If you suspect that you have fallen prey to a scam, call and tell your bank immediately and ask the bank to activate the “kill-switch” to protect your banking account.

9. If each of us play our part, we can collectively have a better chance of reducing our losses to scammers.