Photo credit: SCAMSHIELD

New iPhone app helps identify and block scam SMSes and calls

The app will identify key words in a SMS and move them to a junk folder.

Naren Lee Sankar

Nostalgic Man, never giving up. Loves cartoons

Published: 23 November 2020, 5:37 PM

It will be easier for iPhone users to block scam SMSes and calls with a new app called ScamShield.

The app is a collaboration between the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Open Government Products team at GovTech.

Launched Nov 20 on iPhone’s App Store, the app checks numbers against a list by SPF to see if the number has been used for illegal purposes. If so, the number will be blocked.

For SMSes, ScamShield will identify key words in a message and move them to a junk folder created on your phone. Scam messages will then be sent to SPF and NCPC to compile a database of scam numbers.

The app will only scan messages from numbers which are not in your contact list.

An iPhone user will also be able to report scam messages on the app if it manages to make it past ScamShield’s detection. You will need to use the reporting function for messages from chat apps like WhatsApp and Wechat, which ScamShield does not detect.

“If we want to win [the fight against scams], we need to heighten our senses and learn to spot the various signs of a scam,” said Mr Gerald Singham, NCPC’s chairman.

He added that “S$102 million were lost to various scams in the first six months of [2020].”

An Android version of ScamShield is currently under development.

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