Register your business with SSIR to avoid being labeled a ‘scam’

Composite picture of a mobile phone with a fake phishing sms, and a screenshot of an SMS thread with

From 31 January 2023, SMS messages sent by organizations not registered with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) registry will be labeled as “probable scams”. (Photo: Getty Images/Yahoo Singapore)

SINGAPORE – On 25 January, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced that all organizations using alphanumeric sender IDs (SMS sender IDs) must register with the Singapore SMS Sender Identification Register (SSIR) to make their IDs visible for Singapore mobile number users.

Organizations that fail to do so will label their SMS messages as “likely scams” to users, starting from January 31.

IMDA has said that this registration is to better protect consumers against “unregistered SMS that could be scams”.

With scams on the rise in recent years, and many victims unknowingly falling into the trap of phishing scams, this is a great initiative by IMDA to help protect Singaporeans and their online safety.

However, it also introduces some new problems for businesses and SMS receivers.

SMSs go straight to ‘spam’ or ‘malicious’ folders

For SMS receivers, any type of SMS you receive from businesses not registered under SSIR will immediately be labeled as “Probable GSCAM” on your mobile phone.

It could come from different SMS sources, but it will still be grouped up in the same SMS conversation thread.

This introduces some confusion among users, especially if you receive SMS from legitimate sources that are not registered with SSIR. For example, requests for One Time Password (OTP), parcel tracking services, and reward links will also be covered under the same “GSCAM” thread.

A screenshot of various SMS messages in one named message thread

These five SMS messages came from three different companies, all in the “Possible-SCAM” thread. (Screenshot: Yahoo Singapore)

This makes it difficult to identify which sources are legitimate and which are not, especially if it is sent without a company name as an identifier in these messages.

More than likely, this SMS thread will automatically be sent to your phone’s personal spam folder and won’t even appear on your notifications.

For example, the Google Pixel and Apple line of phones have a self-filtering system in place that will place all suspected scam SMSs into a “spam” or “malicious” folder, sometimes automatically without the user inform.

It is very likely that the “Likely-SCAM” thread would be filtered into these folders, as happened to my own personal cell phone when I received these messages.

For business owners who are not registered with SSIR, disruption to services may be the biggest problem they face.

Screen of SMS messages in one message thread.

Tracking orders from unregistered companies can be a pain if sent to your ‘spam’ folder. (Screenshot: Yahoo Singapore)

When this deal came into effect last month, for some reason, Amazon wasn’t registered yet (they are now though). I have always wanted my login OTP sent to me so I can purchase an item, only to find out much later that it was sent to my “spam” folder many times without any notification.

This led me to go to other online retailers to buy what I needed, instead of using Amazon.

I was personally waiting for a parcel delivery SMS for something I bought, which was also sent as “Probably-SCAM”, but I was wise enough to check my “spam” folder from time to time now, and as so I managed to be home straight away. in time to receive the delivery.

Screenshot of SMS messages in a scam message thread.

Tell us this doesn’t look like a scam or a phishing SMS (it’s not, but you get the point). (Screenshot: Yahoo Singapore)

Confusion if businesses do not register under SSIR

As a business owner, if you’ve relied on SMSes as a means of contacting your customers or user base for any reason, many of these problems will surface sooner or later if you don’t register under SSIR.

This can lead to a confused customer base, or even a loss of revenue due to missed messages.

Worst case, some may think the company is a “scam”, just because it’s coming from a source labeled “Likely-SCAM”.

Registration with the SSIR can be done by contacting or the Singapore Network Information Centre.

Companies will have to pay a one-time set-up fee of $500, and $200 per year per registered sender ID.

Dominic loves technology and games. When he’s not busy cooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.

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