Singapore introduced measures to protect consumers from SMS fraud, requiring organisations to sign up to a government-backed central registry and mobile operators to deploy anti-scam filtering systems to block potential threats.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) stated all organisations using SMS sender IDs must register for the country’s vendor registry by end-January 2023. The current index was set up in March and is voluntary.

IMDA stated the number of SMS scams dropped 64 per cent between Q4 2021 and Q2 2022.

After registration is mandated, only bona fide sender IDs belonging to organisations will be allowed, with all others blocked.

As a transition measure, all non-registered SMS sender-IDs after the deadline will be marked likely scam, similar to a spam filter, and will be in place for around six months.

IMDA noted machine-reading technology makes it possible to identify and filter potential scam messages upstream, with operators able to detect malicious links within text messages sent via their networks.

Operators in the city state are required to implement anti-scam filters in their networks from the end of October.

The IMDA noted the public supported both measures in a consultation.