WP's Sylvia Lim calls for banks to reimburse scam victims fully, says it's unjust for victims to bear loss

4 days ago 22

In an adjournment motion speech during Monday's parliament hearing, Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Lim called for the government to do more to help victims of online scams.

She said victims of these scams should be compensated in a timely manner without having to undergo a complex adjudication process.

Referring to the equitable loss-sharing framework first announced in February 2022, Lim stated that it is inadequate and unjust for scam victims to bear the proportion of loss amounting to scams.

The framework aims to ensure shared responsibility between banks and consumers in cases of scam losses. A consultation paper for the framework is slated to be released in Q3 of 2023.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan responded to Lim, saying that it would not be fair nor desirable to reimburse victims fully without consideration of their culpability.

"Doing so can erode vigilance and personal responsibility and allow users into complacency," he said.

Consumers are not equipped to combat scams

Lim reasoned that consumers are not sufficiently equipped to combat scams, seeing as online frauds have become increasingly sophisticated.

Fraudsters can now take control of a customer's phone and obtain their bank login details through the clicking of a malicious link, she said.

"Even the most technologically savvy person could easily make this mistake and within a day had their life savings wiped out."

On the other hand, banks should take charge in combating scams as they are best positioned and have the best resources to do so, Lim suggested.

"Banks are able to monitor transactions, block suspicious payment flows, and keep abreast of the latest technological developments." she explained. "Such endeavours are beyond the remit of most bank customers."

Look at how other jurisdictions protect consumers

Lim suggested looking at how other countries' jurisdictions are protecting their consumers.

Using the Unite...

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