S’pore telcos, banks to be accountable to scam victims if found negligent


The move will likely make Singapore the first jurisdiction to include telecommunication operators or other infrastructure service providers in a fraud reimbursement framework. — The Straits Times

SINGAPORE: Mobile phone operators that fail to fulfil duties outlined under a proposed framework may soon have to share the responsibility with financial institutions such as banks, when it comes to reimbursing victims of certain phishing scams.

This framework was outlined in a joint consultation paper by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Development Authority on Wednesday that seeks to strengthen the direct accountability of financial institutions and telcos to consumers.

The move will likely make Singapore the first jurisdiction to include telecommunication operators or other infrastructure service providers in a fraud reimbursement framework.

The authorities said placing “duties on responsible telcos” aims to reduce the risk of scam SMSes being sent to consumers.

The move is part of a proposed “waterfall approach” that will assess responsibility, with retail banks such as Citibank, DBS, UOB and OCBC, and payment service providers like Grab that offer e-wallets, first in line.

This is because they are custodians of consumer funds and so play a critical role as gatekeepers against money being misappropriated by scammers.

They have the primary responsibility to implement robust controls to safeguard accounts and to effectively respond to suspicious transactions, the regulators said. —The Straits Times/ANN

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