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Commentary: Singapore banks’ latest anti-scam measures may be inconvenient, but would you rather lose your life savings?



The bad news is that the attractiveness of easy pickings will only encourage these perpetrators and motivate them to continue innovating as they already have. The emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence is already being used by scammers to create deepfakes to convincingly have a video or phone conversation.

Thankfully, the authorities and financial institutions have acted to take steps. In January 2022, banks in Singapore announced new measures to boost digital banking security amid a spate of SMS phishing scams.

The measures include the removal of clickable links in SMSes or emails sent to customers, setting a default threshold of S$100 or lower for funds transfer transaction notifications and having a delay of at least 12 hours to activate a new soft token on a mobile device.

Banks will also send a notification to the existing mobile number or email registered with the bank whenever there is a request to change these details.

Other measures included additional safeguards such as a cooling-off period before implementation of key account changes – for instance contact details – and more frequent scam education alerts.

Dedicated and well-resourced customer assistance teams to deal with feedback on potential fraud cases on a priority basis are also required.

Banks are also now required to, among other things, ask for additional confirmation to process significant changes to customer accounts and other high-risk transactions identified through fraud surveillance, set the default transaction limit for online funds transfers to S$5,000 or lower and provide an emergency self-service “kill switch” for customers to suspend their accounts quickly if they suspect their bank accounts have been compromised.

The Singapore Police Force has also advised members of the public not to download suspicious Android package kit (APK) files from third party or dubious sites, as this can lead to malware being installed on their devices. Recommendations to install anti-virus software have also been made.

Article was originally published from here

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