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In brief

The Monetary Singapore Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Infocomm Media Authority (IMDA) published a joint consultation paper, which sets out a Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF) allocating losses arising from scams among financial institutions (FIs), telecommunication operators (telcos) and consumers.

Under the proposed SRF, FIs and telcos will have to fulfill their respective anti-scam duties. Failure to do so may result in the FIs and telcos making payouts to scam victims for certain types of phishing scams.


In more detail

The proposed SRF is underpinned by three key policy objectives: (i) to retain confidence in digital payments and banking; (ii) to enhance the direct accountability of FIs and telcos to consumers regarding losses stemming from digital scams; and (iii) to highlight individuals’ responsibilities in combatting scams.

Types of scams covered

Not all scams are covered in the proposed SRF. At this juncture, the framework is intended to only apply to common scam typologies with a digital nexus, e.g., where scammers manage to perform unauthorized transactions because consumers were deceived into disclosing their details via phishing links.

Malware scams is a form of scam that falls outside the scope of SRF. The authorities believe that malware-enabled scams are relatively new and the corresponding risk-mitigating measures are still developing. Other scams that the SRF does not cover include scams where the victims authorize payments to the scammers, and where the scammers obtain the victims’ credentials via non-digital means like phone calls.

Duties of responsible FIs and telcos

Under the proposed SRF, FIs and telcos have to fulfill certain discrete anti-scam duties to aid consumers in responding to phishing scams.

The duties of responsible FIs include the following:

  • Imposing a 12-hour cooling-off period upon activation of a digital security token. During the cooling-off period, certain “high-risk” activities like increasing transaction limits and adding new payees cannot be performed
  • Providing real-time notification alerts for the activation of a digital security token and conduct of high-risk activities
  • Providing real-time notification alerts for outgoing transaction
  • Providing a 24/7 reporting channel and self-service feature to report and block unauthorized access to consumers’ accounts

The duties of responsible telcos include the following:

  • Connecting only to authorized aggregators for delivery of Sender ID SMS to ensure that these SMS are from bona fide senders registered with the SMS Sender ID Registry regime
  • Blocking Sender ID SMS from unauthorized aggregators to prevent the delivery of Sender ID SMS from unauthorized SMS networks
  • Implementing an anti-scam filter over all SMS to block SMS with known phishing links

How to handle consumer claims

The SRF outlines a four-stage workflow for handling consumer claims for losses arising from scams:

  • Claim stage — A responsible FI is the first point of contact with consumers and will assess whether the claim falls within the SRF.
  • Investigation stage — If a responsible Telco is involved, the Telco will, along with the FI, conduct timely investigations into the consumer claims.
  • Outcome stage — A responsible FI should inform and explain the outcome to the consumer.
  • Recourse stage — If the consumer is not satisfied, it may pursue further action through avenues such as the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC) or IMDA.

Interested parties are invited to submit their comments on the SRF here by 20 December 2023.

The full consultation paper on proposed SRF can be accessed here.

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 If you have any questions, please get in touch with your regular contact at Baker McKenzie.

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Author

Andy Leck is the head of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTech) Practice Group and a member of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Singapore. He is a core member of Baker McKenzie's regional IP practice and also leads the Myanmar IP Practice Group. Andy is recognised by reputable global industry and legal publications as a leader in his field. He was named on "The A-List: Singapore's Top 100 lawyers" by Asia Business Law Journal 2018. In addition, Chambers Asia Pacific notes that Andy is "a well-known IP practitioner who is highlighted for his record of handling major trade mark litigation, as well as commercial exploitation of IP rights in the media and technology sectors. He's been in the industry for a long time and has always been held in high regard. He is known to be very fair and is someone you would like to be in the trenches with you during negotiations." Furthermore, Asian Legal Business acknowledges Andy as a leading practitioner in his field and notes that he “always gives good, quick advice, [is] client-focused and has strong technical knowledge for his areas of practice.” Andy was appointed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an IP Adjudicator to hear disputes at IPOS for a two-year term from April 2021. He has been an appointed member of the Singapore Copyright Tribunal since May 2010 and a mediator with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is also appointed as a Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths in Singapore. He previously served on the International Trademark Association’s Board of Directors and was a member of the executive committee.

Author

Ren Jun Lim is a principal with Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. He represents local and international clients in both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters. He also advises on a full range of healthcare, as well as consumer goods-related legal and regulatory issues. Ren Jun co-leads Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow's Healthcare as well as Consumer Goods & Retail industry groups. He sits on the Law Society of Singapore IP Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Information Security Professionals. He is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, a member of the International Trademark Association, as well as a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Association. Ren Jun is ranked in the Silver tier for Individuals: Enforcement and Litigation and Individuals: Prosecution and Strategy, and a recommended lawyer for Individuals: Transactions by WTR 1000, 2020. He is also listed in Asia IP's Best 50 IP Expert, 2020, recognised as a Rising Star by Managing IP: IP Stars, 2019 and one of Singapore's 70 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under by Singapore Business Review, 2016. Ren Jun was acknowledged by WTR 1000 as a "trademark connoisseur who boasts supplementary knowledge of regulatory issues in the consumer products industry." He was also commended by clients for being "very responsive to enquiries and with a keen eye for detail, he is extremely hands-on. His meticulous and in-depth approach to strategising is key to the excellent outcomes we enjoy."

Author

Ken Chia is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech, International Commercial & Trade and Competition Practice Groups. He is regularly ranked as a leading TMT and competition lawyer by top legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Ken is an IAPP Certified International Privacy Professional (FIP, CIPP(A), CIPT, CIPM) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Author

Sanil is a local principal in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group in Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. Sanil is qualified in both Singapore and Australia, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/A) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Sanil is recognized as a Rising Star by both Legal 500 Asia Pacific in the Intellectual Property: Local Firms category as well as by IP Stars for his advisory work in the IP space. Sanil is also recommended by World Trademark Review 1000 for IP enforcement, litigation, prosecution and strategy.

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