Published: 11 May 2021
Ms Yeo Wan Ling asked the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the number of scam calls reported on a daily basis; (b) whether the scam calls are consolidated through various channels, including reports made to operators via phone apps; and (c) whether reports are on the increase from a year before.
1. Scam syndicates make automatic calls to millions of victims all over the world every day.
2. In the first quarter of 2021, the Police received 169 reports of scam perpetrated via phone calls, which translates to an average of around two a day. This was a 40% decrease from 282 such cases in the first quarter of 2020. These figures refer only to successful scam cases, where the call recipients had fallen prey.
3. The overall number of scam calls received by the public is likely to be much larger, as most recipients would simply ignore the calls.
4. The Police also receive reports on scam calls through ScamShield, an iOS mobile application developed by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), MHA and GovTech. Apart from blocking messages and calls from known scam numbers, ScamShield also has a function for users to report suspected scam calls to the Police. Since the launch of the app in November 2020, users have reported over 56,000 suspected scam phone numbers. The ScamShield team is presently working on developing an Android version of the application.