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Telephone prefixes have been a part of communications for some time. To facilitate cross-border and international communications, every country has its own prefix. Singapore’s prefix ’65’ has been hijacked by scammers who pose as local callers in order to contact locals
within the community.
From posing as officials to siphoning information vis-a-vis delivery delay scams, these contact scammers have used the “65” prefix and attached it to local numbers with 8 digits in order to appear as present within the local community. In reality, these numbers could be operating from any known number of jurisdictions.
Parlimentary Whip, Janil Puthucheary, addressed the growing number of such reports in March 2020 during his parlimentary address. In fact, efforts towards identifying such calls began with announcing that all international calls would be prefixed with a ‘+’ to indicate the jurisdiction of the call i.e. it would be identified as a non-local call.
It was a researched fact that local numbers have and continue to be hijacked by scammers in order to fulfil criminal causes. It is important that the community is made aware of such developments in order to keep from falling prey to such scams.
Furthermore, apart from scams, such impersonators could use numbers to advertise their businesses or circulate illicit content, under the guise of a local number. It is important to be able to distinguish and number operating within Singapore and a non-local number.
References: Channel News Asia (2020) https://www.channelnewsasia.com/image/12496146/0x0/1920/2155/2d28b156f5310aca8c12f1776008e0d9/ks/measures-against-phone-scammers—infographic.png
Stay safe and remember, we recover broken promises.