Who Should Foot the Bill for Phishing Scams? Singapore Proposes a Shared Liability Model

Estimated read time 2 min read

Ever found yourself questioning who should take the blame when a phishing scam drains your bank account? According to Laura Dobberstein from theregister.com1, Singapore is stepping up to address this conundrum.

In a novel approach, Singapore proposes that both banks and consumers should share the liability for losses resulting from scams. We think this could potentially reshape the way we look at cybersecurity responsibilities.

Singapore’s Groundbreaking Proposal

As Laura Dobberstein reports, Singapore’s Minister of State Alvin Tan has announced the country’s plan to introduce a shared liability scheme.

The scheme aims to ensure that both the consumer and the bank remain vigilant and share responsibility for any losses due to scams. “Full restitution without due consideration of culpability is neither fair nor desirable,” Tan told the Parliament.

How Does This Compare Globally?

Countries like Australia2 and the European Commission are also considering similar approaches. The UK has gone a step further, deciding to enforce mandatory reimbursements for scam victims up to one million pounds3.

CountryApproach to LiabilityMaximum Reimbursement
SingaporeShared ResponsibilityTo be announced
AustraliaConsidering Shared Loss SchemesN/A
European CommissionRefund SchemeN/A
UKMandatory Reimbursement by BanksUp to £1 million

Before diving into the specifics, let’s take a look at this table summarizing the stance various countries are taking on this issue.

Why Singapore Felt the Need for Change

Despite the strict regulations set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)4, the country saw the need for this shared responsibility framework. Why? Because even the most stringent rules couldn’t stop motivated hackers. The impetus for this came after a single bank lost SG$13.7 million ($10.2 million) due to scams targeting around 800 customers.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re diligent about maintaining good cyber hygiene, this shared responsibility might seem like a raw deal. However, Alvin Tan5 clarified that those who have acted responsibly should not bear the full brunt of the losses. So, the model likely involves assessing the victim’s actions too.

Wrapping It Up

In a world where scams are becoming more intricate by the day, a just solution is more important than ever. Singapore’s shared responsibility framework could be the balanced approach that sets a global precedent.

What are your thoughts? Is sharing the burden fair, or should banks be solely responsible?

We’d love to hear your opinions on this groundbreaking move!


  1. https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/20/singapore_phishing_split_fraud/ ↩︎
  2. https://www.ey.com/en_au/financial-services/who-should-pay-for-the-cost-of-scams-in-australia ↩︎
  3. https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/uk-banks-told-reimburse-customers-tricked-by-scams-2022-09-28/ ↩︎
  4. https://www.mas.gov.sg/ ↩︎
  5. https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/parliamentary-replies/2023/reply-to-adjournment-motion-on-losses-from-scams-and-malware ↩︎
Reza Rafati https://cyberwarzone.com

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of Cyberwarzone.com. An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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