I can’t find the application on my Apple App Store or it tells me it is not available in my Region?
The application is only made available in Singapore. If you are on another country/region, you can go to your Apple ID and change the country/region to Singapore which would allow you to download ScamShield
Will the app block calls from people I know?
No. The app only blocks calls from our database of blocked numbers, managed centrally by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and Singapore Police Force (SPF).
Will it filter SMSes from people I know?
The app does not filter messages coming from people in your contact list or contacts that you have an existing conversation with.
Will I still be able to see the SMSes that have been filtered?
Yes. A junk SMS folder will be created on your phone. It is the same concept as a junk folder for your email inbox. You will still be able to see those messages.
Are there any privacy concerns with using the app?
Nope, iOS has strict privacy rules on what ScamShield can or cannot read. If a message comes from a known contact, iOS will not pass the SMS to Scamshield. If you have previously interacted with an unknown contact or decided to engage an unknown contact in conversation then ScamShield will not get to see the message either. Only messages sent by unknown persons via SMS will be read by the AI. The app also does not have any access to your location data or any personal data (because it's not necessary!)
What happens if I delete the app? Will all my junk messages be deleted too?
No, the app does not delete your messages. If you delete the app, the junk SMS folder on your phone will remain with all the SMSes intact.
When will the Android version be out? I want this app on my phone!
We are working with our partners to roll out an Android version. We will let you know as soon as it is ready.
Who built this app?
The app is a collaboration between the NCPC, Open Government Products team (OGP) at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and SPF.
Once installed, can hackers hack into my phone if the app is compromised?
As the app does not individually identify any users, and it does not access any other data on your phone, you and your phone are not at risk if the app is compromised.
How does ScamShield work?
The app filters incoming calls and text messages. ScamShield compares an incoming call against a list maintained by the Singapore Police Force to determine if the number has been used for illegal purposes and blocks it.
When you receive an incoming SMS from an unknown contact, ScamShield will determine if the SMS is a scam using an on-device algorithm and filters the messages to a junk SMS folder.
Scam SMSes will be sent to NCPC and SPF for collation. This keeps the app updated and will help protect others from such scam calls and messages.
Why can’t ScamShield automatically filter scam messages on Android devices?
On Android devices, we are unable to automatically move messages which ScamShield has identified as potential scam to the junk folder.
Since the release of Android 4.4 in 2013, users can select a “default SMS app” within the system settings on their phone. When the default SMS app is selected, only this app has the ability to modify the broadcasted action that can affect the delivery of an SMS. As ScamShield is not an SMS app, it does not have the same privileges as the default SMS app, and therefore can only be notified of incoming SMSes, but cannot affect the delivery of SMSes.
Android users on ScamShield will instead receive a push notification when they receive a potential scam SMS. They can find also find a compiled list of scam SMSes they have received on the in-app Alerts History page.
Why should I download ScamShield?
Currently, telcos do not help you filter scam and spam calls and text messages.
ScamShield mobile app is free to download and most importantly, it may prevent scammers from contacting you.
How do I set up the app for the first time?
You can find our app in the Apple App Store if you search for “ScamShield” or click on this link. You can refer to our Setup page for more installation instructions
Do I need a Wi-Fi or data plan for the app to work?
No, you don’t need Wi-Fi or data plan for the app to work. The app will run on the background to filter incoming calls and text messages.
However, without Wi-Fi or data plan, the app will be unable to send details of the scam messages and numbers for collation.
Will the app be able to filter spam messages from WhatsApp?
No, the app can only filter incoming SMSes. If you received spam messages from other chat apps such as WhatsApp, Wechat, IMO, Viber, etc, you can forward the spam messages via in-app reporting function.
Can I inactivate either the filtering of incoming phone calls or text messages function?
Yes, either function can be deactivated at any time in your settings. To learn more visit our setup guide
I can’t find the option to enable call blocking and SMS filtering?
If you do not have the setting you can try the following:
- Go to your Settings
- Go to Privacy
- Go to Tracking
- Enable the option “Allow Apps to Request to Track”
- If the setting is already “Enable”, please disable” and re-enable it once more
- The call blocking and SMS filtering option should appear
I have questions about the app! Who can I ask?
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries, questions or feedback.