New mobile app by S'pore govt promises to block scam calls & flag shady SMSes

A collaboration between the National Crime Prevention Council, a team at GovTech, and the police.

Nigel Chua | November 23, 2020, 01:28 PM

S$102 million was lost to scams in the first half of 2020, said the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC).

This includes e-commerce scams, internet love scams, as well as scams that are initiated through SMS or phone calls.

ScamShield, a new mobile app, will flag suspicious SMS messages and block scam calls.

The app, which was launched on Nov. 20, is a collaboration between the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), Open Government Products team (OGP) at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

It is currently only available on iOS devices.

An Android version is on the way, according to a list of FAQs within the app, though no date has been provided.

How it works

The app filters SMSes by scanning through the content of SMS messages and identifying key words using artificial intelligence.

According to the app's FAQs, it only reads messages sent by "unknown persons", and will not read any data from those in your contact list.

SMSes that are identified as scam messages will be moved to a "junk" folder.

It is similar to how email service providers have a "junk" or "spam" folder.

The app also blocks scam calls from blacklisted numbers that are known to be used in scam cases, or reported by users through the app.

The list of blacklisted numbers is maintained by NCPC and SPF.

How to use the app

ScamShield does not store any personal data, and your mobile number is not required for registration.

Therefore, setting up the app is as simple as downloading it and tweaking your phone's settings to enable it.

Screenshot via ScamShield app.

The app also doesn't need an internet connection to block calls and filter messages.

However, those who wish to report scam messages and numbers through the app will need an internet connection to do so.

Screenshot via ScamShield app.

Those keen to learn more about the app can visit

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