Published: 02 February 2021
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs how are the authorities actively monitoring and taking action in relation to advertisements of illegal remote gambling websites or loan services on social media, SMS and other messaging apps.
1. Police will take the necessary enforcement actions when they receive complaints from
members of public on advertisements on illegal remote gambling and unlicensed moneylending services. These include
forwarding offending phone numbers to the telecommunication service providers to terminate the phone numbers, or to
social media platforms to remove the illegal content. Where it is possible to track the identities of the
perpetrators, Police will take them to task.
2. To prevent criminal syndicates from using prepaid SIM cards to send such advertisements,
Police also conduct joint enforcement operations with IMDA against errant retailers known to be selling prepaid
cards that have been fraudulently pre-registered. The most recent operation took place on 16 Aug 2020, with 16 shops
raided, 10 arrests made, and the seizure of more than 2,800 fraudulently registered prepaid SIM cards.
3. The public plays an important part in this effort against advertisements of illegal
remote gambling and unlicensed moneylending services. Mobile subscribers should block and report messages
advertising illegal remote gambling and unlicensed moneylending services using spam filtering functions on their
phones or third-party applications. One such application is ScamShield, a mobile application jointly developed by
the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the Government Technology Agency (GovTech). The app is available
for free for all iOS users, and we are currently working on the Android version.
4. IMDA is also working with the telecommunication service providers to explore technical solutions to reduce the delivery of such advertisements.