SINGAPORE – Tactics employed by scammers are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, and now include the use of deepfake audio and video calls in scams involving unauthorised bank transactions, Parliament heard on Monday.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) aims to strengthen Singapore’s defence against such scams by working with banks to allow customers to verify if calls are genuine, among other measures.
He added that banks are also planning to expand the use of biometric technology, in addition to passwords and one-time-passwords, as a means of authentication.
Biometric technology uses physical characteristics unique to an individual, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to verify the person’s identity.
For those who have already fallen victim to scams, MAS expects banks to treat customers fairly in disputes over unauthorised transactions.
Mr Tan said: “The banks must consider whether they have fulfilled their obligations and whether customers have done their part to protect their accounts. Depending on the outcome of the bank’s investigations, they may offer goodwill payment to customers.”
If they wish to, bank customers may file the dispute with the Financial Industry Dispute Resolution Centre for mediation and adjudication. If the customers are not satisfied with the outcome, they can also consider seeking legal advice on whether to pursue the case in court.
When a customer suspects that he has fallen for a scam or is alerted by a bank to an unauthorised transaction involving his account, he should immediately contact the bank or activate the kill switch provided by the bank to freeze his account. He should also report the fraudulent activities to the police.
Members of the public can play their part to prevent scams from occurring. They should install ScamShield and should not divulge their Internet and banking credentials or passwords to anyone.
The ScamShield app enables incoming calls from unknown numbers to be checked against a database maintained by the Singapore Police Force. These numbers will be blocked if ScamShield determines that the number has been used for scams.
Mr Tan stressed: “Be suspicious of unsolicited messages or calls that you receive and also verify calls received by calling the bank directly on the hotline listed on the official websites.”