Oral reply to Parliamentary Question on claims filed with the Financial Dispute Resolution Centre which involve an unauthorised bank transaction
Date: For Parliament Sitting on 8 May 2023
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Tan Wu Meng, Jurong GRC
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether there are claims filed with the Financial Dispute Resolution Centre which involve an unauthorised bank transaction reportedly taken place and the bank has assessed that the One-Time Password (OTP) SMS messaging was used, but the customer's telephone operator records do not show transmission or receipt of such SMS OTP; and (b) whether there are other avenues available for these customers to seek redress.
Answer by Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Board member of MAS, on behalf of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:
1.The scam type described by Dr Tan is quite rare: where an unauthorised bank transaction took place and where the bank assessed that the One-Time Password (OTP) SMS messaging was used, but the customer's telephone operator records did not show transmission to or receipt by the customer of such an SMS OTP. The Singapore Police Force has not received any such report since 2021. The Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) is aware of two cases since July 2022 where the use or receipt of SMS OTP by the customer is disputed.
2.When customers suspect that they have fallen for a scam, or are alerted by the bank to unauthorised transactions involving their account, they should immediately contact the bank or activate the kill switch that the banks provide to freeze their accounts. They should also report such fraudulent activities to the Police.
3.MAS expects banks to treat customers fairly in all cases of disputes over unauthorised transactions. The banks must consider whether they have fulfilled their obligations, and whether customers have done their part in protecting their accounts. Depending on the outcome of the banks’ investigations, they may offer goodwill payments to customers.
4.Any customer may, if they wish, lodge the dispute with FIDReC for mediation and adjudication. If they are not satisfied with the FIDReC outcome, they can consider seeking legal advice on whether to pursue their case in court.