Sep 16, 2022
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Why do banks freeze payments?

Why do banks freeze payments?

State Duma deputies have prepared a bill that should allow banks to block money transfers and account transactions for two days if there are doubts whether this is a fraudulent action. However, the bill raised doubts among experts.

The Central Bank reported that in 2021 the total volume of transactions with signs of fraud with bank cards amounted to 13.58 billion rubles. The geography of these crimes is expanding: the Informzaschita holding has calculated that in the first half of the year the number of fraudulent calls to Russia made via cellular communications and the Internet has increased tenfold compared to last year. Attackers dug in and spawned call centers in the Baltic States, Poland and even Germany.

Of course, it is necessary to fight this public – and fight decisively: most often their victims are elderly people who have not adapted to the cynicism of the current reality and lose the rest of their savings. As they say in the Central Bank, last year, despite the promises and efforts of the authorities, only 6.8% of the money stolen from bank cards was returned to the victims.

Now, according to the new bill, banks will be required to freeze a transaction if it is suspicious and check the account of the recipient of money in a special database. Two days are given for this. The base is jointly created by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the details of fraudsters will be entered there, and information about fraud attempts will be collected there. If banks ignore the instructions of these departments on blocking and transfer money to the attackers, then they themselves will have to compensate the victim for what was stolen.

Everything seems to be correct and fair. However, a number of experts warned that the so-called fast payment system, which today allows you to transfer money to the right address in seconds, pay for a product or service, may suffer as a result. There are many situations when a transaction slowdown, especially for two days, can lead to serious losses.

In addition, there are fears that scammers who famously change phone numbers from which they call victims of fraud will also be able to quickly shuffle account numbers where the stolen goods will be sent. “Have scammers really been seen reusing the same details? Has it been reliably established that not every new act of fraud is preceded by the opening of an account, but instead is carried out with the help of a pre-existing one? – Kirill Reznik, the lawyer of the Unified Protection Center, asks questions. “Because otherwise – if the criminals are constantly updating the details – this measure will be useless.”

Experts also point to the insufficiently efficient work of the police, which could exchange information with banks through a dedicated channel and get to the criminals much faster. Plus, it is necessary to strengthen the control and responsibility of telecom operators for the passage of traffic from substitution numbers.

Lavrenty Pavlov.


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