Toku has become the first telco-service provider in Singapore, and Southeast Asia, to join the global AB Handshake Community. Asia Pacific’s cloud communications and Singapore-licenced telecom service provider, Toku is currently the leading provider of virtual numbers in Singapore, providing 60% coverage of all virtual numbers in the country.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) welcomes Toku’s move to join the AB Handshake Community to proactively fight against fraudulent calls. It represents a timely intervention within the Singapore telco space. According to the Singapore Police Force, victims lost at least S$633.3 million to scams in 2021. Many of these scams relied on voice calls to dupe victims, such as banking-related phishing scams, fake friend call scams and impersonating foreign government officials.
Findings in a new survey commissioned by Toku also revealed that out of the 1,000 respondents in Singapore, 87% have received a scam call recently, and 75% actually answered the call, with 10% of all the respondents have fallen prey and suffered monetary loss. These figures suggest that people in Singapore are still largely vulnerable to phone scams if they are not vigilant.
“As a Singaporean company, we are committed to finding new ways of protecting the Singapore community from fraudulent calls that are affecting almost everyone. Call frauds are responsible for the loss of personal information, and the loss of billions of dollars for companies. As phone scammers are increasingly using sophisticated tactics to run their call scams, we strive to restore trust back in phone calls by eliminating fraudulent calls. As we gain momentum and work towards building a stronger, safer and fraud-free telco community, we strongly urge other telco players in Singapore to join in the ongoing efforts,” said Thomas Laboulle, Founder and CEO of Toku. “Looking beyond Singapore, we are prepared to take this initiative to the other countries in the region where we operate, starting with Malaysia and Vietnam. With the telco players in these countries on board, we would be able to ensure that 179.58 million numbers are protected from fraud calls by the end of 2024.”
Nadejda Papernania, Founder of AB Handshake said, “We are pleased to be joining forces with Toku to expand the fraud-free global community to prevent fraudulent scam calls in the telecom industry, particularly in the Southeast Asia region. Our partnership with Toku will leverage the company’s industry expertise and in-market knowledge to encourage a growing community for other telecom players to join the community, which is an important step towards achieving a fraud-free community.”
As the Asia Pacific region is a highly fragmented telco market, Toku is currently in discussions with other telco players and regulatory bodies to build a framework that will provide an additional layer of validation to prevent call frauds, and instil trust in the system for users and businesses to interact seamlessly without worry or concerns.
Toku’s business in Singapore is already adhering to local telco regulations and licensing requirements. The InfoComm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore has recognised Toku as a Tier 1 Aggregator, which permits Toku to handle commercial SMS traffic. This includes anti-spoofing protocols for protected SMS.