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Singapore now has S$3.2b in funds ‘locked’ to prevent scams: ABS

Around 38,000 accounts now make use of local banks’ money lock feature.

Singapore now has S$3.2b in funds using local banks’ “money lock” feature, involving 38,000 accounts, according to the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

First launched in November by three local banks, the “money lock” feature aims to add a layer of safeguard in customers’ accounts should their digital access to said account be compromised.

The feature is part of ABS efforts to combat digital scams, which include customer education, strengthening authentication, surveillance, customer handling and recovery and shared responsibility, said Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director, ABS.

However, Ong-Ang warned that Singapore’s banking industry must continue to be prepared from scammers, who are expected to continuously modify their techniques.

ALSO READ: MAS unveils new measures against digital banking scams

“In addition to the efforts by banks, ABS reiterates the importance of customer vigilance in combating scams and the need for all parties profiting from the digital ecosystem to contribute to the fight against scams,” Ong-Ang said in a statement.

Apart from the money lock feature, ABS and the banking industry have also adopted other measures to combat digital scams. These include not sending clickable links in SMS messages and emails, to co-location of bank staff with the police at the Anti-Scam Centre, and anti-malware detection measures. 

As a result of these efforts, banks prevented and recovered over S$57.6m in scam losses by customers, while a further S$18.6m of potential scam losses was averted from accounts accessed by devices exposed to malware, Ong-Ang said.

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