Online Scams: Task Force to Consider How to Allocate Liability, Banking News & Top Stories
A task force led by Singapore’s central bank is examining how to allocate responsibility for a fraudulent online transaction between affected consumers and financial companies, Home Secretary Desmond Tan said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has established a task force with representatives from banks and major payment players to examine practices the financial sector can put in place to better protect consumers from scams and fraud. fraudulent transactions, he said yesterday.
“This review will aim to provide fair, clear and consistent approaches to the allocation of liability for fraudulent payment transactions,” Tan said at the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS ).
Mr Tan, who also chairs the Interdepartmental Committee on Scams (IMCS), said Singapore continues to see a significant increase in the number of scams.
Last year, more than 15,000 cases of scams, involving around $ 200 million in losses, were reported to police, a 65% increase from 2019.
To prevent bank customers from falling victim to scams, IMCS has worked closely with the ABS Anti-Scam Working Group, Tan said.
For example, to fend off attempts by crooks to use various tricks and trick victims into sharing their one-time passwords (OTP), ABS worked with banks to include warning messages in their OTP messages and to improve OTP verification processes through the use of digital tokens, he said.
IMCS and ABS also work closely with banks to train their frontline staff to detect and disrupt scams. Last year, frontline bank staff intercepted 76 cases of fraud involving around $ 3 million in total, Tan said.
To recoup the losses of those who fall victim to scams, initiatives have been launched, such as Project Frontier, a collaboration between the Singapore Police Anti-Scam Center and more than 30 financial institutions, online marketplaces and telecommunications service providers.
The project helps to quickly intercept the illicit proceeds of the scams and facilitates the recovery of funds for the victims. “Last year over $ 57 million in scam proceeds was recovered,” Mr. Tan said.
Singapore is also taking the initiative to disrupt the activities of the money mules, which are an essential part of the crooks’ modus operandi.
Another area of intervention of the Home Office relates to Singapore’s efforts against money laundering (AML) and the fight against the financing of terrorism (CFT) and proliferation financing – the provision of funds or financial services in violation of national laws or international obligations.
The AML / CFT Industry Partnership (ACIP), a public-private partnership, has served as an important platform for the MAS, the Singapore Police Department of Business Affairs and the financial sector to collectively fight money laundering , terrorist financing and proliferation, Tan said. .
ACIP is planning efforts to more quickly and fully inform the industry of the latest best practices and threats, including those outside the jurisdiction of ACIP. It also plans to establish a new government and industry task force to monitor emerging areas of risk and consider other ways to support industry efforts to improve its data and data capabilities. ‘analysis.
“But we know that ACIP cannot do all of this alone and I hope all industry members here today can move forward and contribute to ACIP as much as possible, so that we can collectively better protect ourselves against financial crime, ”Tan said.
He said that increased collaboration between government and industry is key to tackling these crimes and preserving Singapore’s position as a safe and reliable financial hub.
Experts believe the current Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the situation, increasing the possibilities of scams and wrongdoing as businesses and individuals turn to online platforms amid mobility restrictions and home working arrangements.
Mr. Tan said, “Pandemic or not, financial crimes and scams continue to evolve and we must improve our game to protect our system and maintain our reputation as a safe and reliable financial center.”