Photo by Gilles Lambert from Unsplash

Banks and telcos to be held accountable for customer phishing protection under new framework

The government will implement the framework on 1H24.

In 1H2024, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) will implement the Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF), which will hold banks and telcos accountable for measures to protect their customers from phishing.

The framework provides more “expedient recourse for victims if financial institutions and telecommunication operators are found to have failed to fulfil their anti-scam duties,” said the MCI.
Over the previous years, the government has made efforts to reduce the risks and prevent more cases of online scams.

In 2022, the Singapore Police Force established the Anti-Scam Command (ASCom) to contain the impact of scams.
In 1H2023, the ASCom froze over 9,000 bank accounts and recovered about $50.8m.

For scam prevention, the government has established multiple proactive measures to detect, avoid, and report potential scams.
These measures include blocking calls from known scam numbers (2019) and spoofed local numbers (2022); blocking robocalls, based on pattern recognition (2020); and SMSes containing malicious content and links (2022).

Since January 2022, the government has also required users to conduct facial verification for higher-risk transactions. In June 2023, facial verification was also used for high-risk CPF e-services.

The mandatory registration of all alphanumeric SMS sender IDs with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) has been ongoing since January 2023. Unregistered sender IDs are labelled as “Likely-SCAM.”

In May 2023, the government imposed harsher legal consequences for those who allow scammers to misuse their Singpass accounts or their bank accounts. 

Additionally, the new Online Criminal Harms Act was passed in July 2023, which issues online platforms ex-ante requirements to protect consumers.

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