30 January 2024

From 5 January 2024, mobile subscribers may choose to block incoming calls from international numbers on their mobile phones. The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (“IMDA”) announced on 4 January 2024 that it is partnering with certain mobile network operators (“telcos”) to allow subscribers to opt in to block incoming calls from international numbers on their mobile phones as part of multi-layered measures to protect the public from scams.

IMDA encourages subscribers to opt in to the service to better protect themselves from international scam calls. By opting in, all incoming calls made from international numbers will be blocked. Subscribers can enable and disable the international number blocking option based on their needs. The service will not affect calls made from Singapore numbers (e.g. Singapore users roaming overseas and calling home).

Other measures which IMDA and the telcos have progressively introduced include upfront blocking of all international calls that exhibit unusually high frequency (which are likely to be scam calls made through automated systems) and identifying and blocking international incoming calls where the caller ID is falsified with a +65 prefix to resemble a call made from Singapore.

IMDA will work with the telcos to allow subscribers to also have the option to block short message services from international numbers, a capability expected to be available by mid-2024.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the IMDA website www.imda.gov.sg: