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Guides for Consumers

last updated 28 November 2016

In Singapore, the Spam Control Act ("Act") regulates the sending of spam. Persons who intend to send, cause to be sent or authorise the sending of such unsolicited commercial electronic messages are required to comply with all requirements set out in the Second Schedule of the Act. These include, amongst other requirements, incorporating with a space before the title in the subject field, or if there is no subject field, in the words first appearing in the message. In addition, an unsubscribe facility must be provided within the message.

The Act, however, adopts a civil-based regime for the enforcement of its requirements. This means that parties who have suffered loss or damage due to a sender's non-compliance with the Act, can take direct legal action against the sender. Please note that given the civil-based regime, there are no specific authorities which can take enforcement action under the Act.

On your part, with regard to unsolicited electronic messages, you may consider contacting the company concerned directly to request them to remove you from their marketing list. Most responsible organisations would respect such a request. In the case of email, you can set your e-mail filters to screen out such traffic.

You may also approach your Internet Service Provider for advice on spam. Most of the major Internet Service Providers in Singapore have procedures in place to investigate spam reports and take appropriate action against the spammer. Your service provider may also suggest techniques and software to filter unwanted messages.

You may wish to refer to the Spam Control FAQ for more information.

Nuisance/Prank Calls/Offensive Content

In the case of nuisance/prank calls, you should alert your service provider and seek its assistance. For example, you could ask your service provider for advice on the options available for tracing nuisance calls. Some service providers offer value-added services (VAS) such as call blocking, caller ID or call tracing, which may be helpful in tracking the nuisance calls. You may also wish to lodge a police report. If the problem persists or the content contains elements of threat, you may wish to seek assistance from the police.

In the case of messages containing sexually explicit or offensive content, you may wish to refer the matter to IMDA for further investigation or advice. If the message contains offensive language that might amount to a threat or that might cause racial or religious disharmony, you may wish to refer the message to the police. You should separately approach your service provider for assistance on how you can stop receiving these messages.