It is not uncommon for people to receive strange and unexpected texts from unknown senders on their phone. In fact, you may come across some odd texts while you are in the middle of a busy day, and you are confused where it even came from. In Singapore, there is such a thing as a loan shark, which sends SMS to people’s phone. They may send texts announcing about their loan products and services, as well as some enticing words that make you want to reply and inquire further. These loan sharks also include their contact details, so you have a means of responding to their message.
Sounds pretty innocent? Not really. You know well enough that they have a motive for sending such texts, and they want to bait people and get them to take a loan out. The worst thing is that they may even have the most unreasonable interest rates and repayment schemes, which may only add more burdens to you in terms of your finances. But for the most part, it can get annoying over time when you continue to receive these texts. It almost makes you want to find a way to block these messages from getting through your phone!
But you see, the government of Singapore has been taking steps to protect people’s privacy and sensitive information such as their contact details. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided completely. There will still instances that unsolicited marketing and promotional materials find their way to your mobile device even if you do not want to receive them. Unlike with receiving emails from companies that are promoting their products, there is no way for you to unsubscribe to these text messages. You have to choice but to keep receiving them, and it can be very frustrating on your part. Whatsapp messaging and SMS do not have an option to unfollow or unsubscribe from these people. And to make things worse, some senders use strange numbers of even no number appearing on your phone. Thus, you cannot even report and track where these messages are coming from.
But all hope is not lost. Do not worry because there is still a way for you to resolve this issue and protect your privacy. If you receive such annoying and distracting text messages, you may consider following these techniques to solve this type of dilemma.
1. Use the DNC or Do Not Call registry to spare yourself from these unsolicited marketing tactics sent to your phone
In Singapore, there is the DNC registry that allows you to opt out and not be exposed to marketing and promotional messages directed to your telephone number in the country. This includes even advertisements that are providing information about a service or product. So, by registering with the DNC, you will have peace of mind from not obtaining random and unwanted messages such as those coming from loan sharks and similar groups. Under Singapore’s PDPA, the DNC prohibits any organisation in the nation from sending promotional messages to all mobile, landline Singapore telephone numbers. This also includes business and residential numbers that are listed with the DNC. So, you may consider this viable option to spare yourself from such texts.
But at the same time, there are organisations with an ongoing business relationship with subscribers of Singapore phone numbers that may continue to send promotional ads on similar products or services. They may do so even without checking first with the DNC Registry . This happens when you provide your private phone number whenever you fill out a contest coupon or even a registration form at your favorite massage place or spa. If you do these, then it means such companies have the capacity to contact you without being considered as illegal. Nevertheless, these text messages should include an opt-out feature, which would enable you to prevent the further receiving of telemarketing SMS. Once you have decided to opt out, these organisations are required to stop the sending of messages after 30 days.
So, how can you register with the DNC? There are three options to choose from such as the no text message, no voice call, and the no fax message register.
2. Never reply to these unsolicited text messages
If you decide to reply to these unwanted texts, you are only giving the sender an idea that you are interested in their products or services. This may even lead to an ongoing communication and continuing sending of texts, which can further irritate you. Moreover, this can start the possibility of receiving SMS from other unknown individuals in case your contact details are passed to the networks of these so-called loan sharks. Now that leads to even greater headaches on your part!
Once you receive such texts, simply ignore them. It may be quite frustrating if there are several texts a day that get to your phone, but the more you just shrug things off, there is a higher chance for these senders to stop contacting you. On the other hand, a reply from you will only trigger them to contact you once again in the future.
3. Lodge a complaint about receiving loan shark text messages
If you can no longer handle the annoyance that these organisations bring to you, then it may be time to send in a report and complain about these SMSes you have been receiving. This is particularly true among those who have been getting them on a regular basis. In fact, there may be times when these text messages get to you several times in a day, which can truly get highly frustrating!
This should be the perfect time to contact the police and lodge in a report. You may contact their hotline for your report at these numbers – 1800-924-5664 ( or at 1800-X-AH-LONG). An alternative is by sending out information via the I-Witness, which can also help you with your concern. The National Crime Prevention should be able to provide you with the support that you need.
4. Consider setting up on your mobile device a Whitelist
Now, if you want to block numbers from getting on your phone, there is a way to do so, thanks to modern technology. If you have an iOS device, there is a means of blocking contacts and even phone numbers from getting through. You may also establish a whitelist, which means you have a list of approved numbers that are allowed to appear on your iPhone.
To do this, put all your contacts into the “favourite” folder and then switch the “Do Not Disturb” mode on. However, if you set this feature up, you may not receive phone calls from banks and other organisations that do not belong to your whitelist.
With an iPhone, you can also contact Apple for your complaints regarding unsolicited messages. The email address you may contact is firstname.lastname@example.org . Tell them about the date and time of receiving the iMessage, as well as the contact details associated with it. Most importantly, do not forget to send a screenshot or image of the message sent to you.
For an Android device, you can activate the spam filter built right into your phone. Just tap this feature and hold the text message you have received from the number you are trying to block. Then, you can find the option to delete, block, notify, or archive the number.
If you want further security, you may check out third-party apps for blocking these spam messages. But no matter what you wish to do, simply ignore and stop replying to these texts. This should discourage senders to continue sending messages to your devices. By doing so, the problem will be solved eventually, while sparing yourself from getting scammed by such organisations that do not serve any purpose in your life.
Always lookout for these SMSes and do not loan from loan sharks! If you ever in need of money, you can always approach the bank or even licensed money lender in Singapore. They offer personal loan, payday loan, short term business loan and even foreigner loan. Do not worry, these money lenders are approved by the government, you may wish to check the Registry of Moneylenders to find out more.