The Flemish right-wing N-VA party wants to put an end to billing fraud by checking IBAN’s name, which means every transfer must be checked to see if the account number and name match.
This suggestion follows recent billing scam news, in which many people lost a lot of money by sending it to the fraudster’s account instead of sending it to the person they thought they were sending it to.
This happens when fraudsters intercept an invoice and change the account number on it. In the past, bills to change the account number were stolen, but now scammers can hack into the mailbox and change the number.
This phenomenon has been around for years, but the federal public service economy has recently been experiencing strong growth, with authorities receiving about 369 reports last year for a total of €4.5 million, or 19% more than in 2019. VRT reports.
To counter this practice, Flemish MP Michael Freilich of N-VA has created a bill that requires banks to provide an IBAN name check: When you deposit money into an account, you’ll receive a message asking if the name and account number are.
“Today there is no control whatsoever. Whether you enter the correct name of the payee, or whether Bart de Wever or Mickey Mouse is paid, it makes absolutely no difference.” “The bank will always make the payment – no matter what name you enter.”
“We are inundated with various forms of phishing. The problem with suspicious transfers is that customers transfer money to an account themselves,” Frelich said.
And if this leads to fraudsters, they will lose their money, because Belgian banks are not obligated to return the lost money.
He added: “IBAN name verification is not a panacea, but every part of it helps end online fraud.”
“I don’t know how to do without him”
The IBAN name verification system won’t be new, as the UK and the Netherlands have been using it for some time, says Berendjan Beugel of the Dutch Payments Association, an umbrella organization for Dutch companies – including banks – that provide payment services.
He said, “It was brought to us in 2017 because we have a lot of problems with online scams.” garden. We didn’t need a law for that. Banks and payment companies thought it was important to have such a system and introduce it themselves.”
Bugel says that all major banks in the Netherlands, such as ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank, now use IBAN name verification.
According to him, things are going well, as fraudulent transactions have decreased by 80% since the introduction of the system and he “doesn’t know how we can do without him”.
Bogle emphasized that the system is free to the client and very intuitive. If the account number does not match the name, you will receive a notification to check if you still want to make the transaction. “If you do that, the money will be transferred,” he said. “But you always get a notification when you enter a new account number.”
The Belgian Banking Association Febelfin has confirmed that a person’s account number and name are not linked and that the account number in the IBAN format is the only thing that identifies a person.
“In itself we are not against the IBAN name verification system, but it is not enough to organize it only in our country,” Isabelle Marchand of Flemish radio, Isabel Marchand, said, adding that European rules would be fine.
However, the Consumers Union test does not fully agree and points out that Belgium cannot always wait for Europe to arrange everything.
“We believe that IBAN name verification should be introduced. The sooner we stop online fraud, the better,” spokesman Simon November said, adding that he understands that the system is not a miracle solution to all scams.
“But any fraud we can stop is a good thing, because the IBAN name verification has already proven its worth in the Netherlands.”
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