Citibank Has Also Implemented Security Measures That Look at Other Apps in Your Phone


Remember when ‘scam’ was just a word you heard, and you would always advise your parents or grandparents to beware of random spam messages from Facebook and WhatsApp?

The thought of being scammed may seem trivial, especially for members of Gen Z and millennials, who claim that they are more tech-savvy and not susceptible to online scams.

However, as scams get more sophisticated in this digital era, young and digitally savvy folks can also fall prey to such scams.

Scammers are getting smarter these days.

According to data from The Straits Times, the first half of 2023 saw a staggering 64.5% surge in reported scam cases compared to the same period last year.

Citibank Launches Anti-Scam Security Feature to Counteract Scams

To combat the risks posed by prevalent cybersecurity threats, Citibank has rolled out a new anti-scam feature on the bank’s mobile app.

This feature will flag and restrict users’ access if it detects potentially risky permission settings in other installed apps on the same device.

To ensure the safety of its users from the looming threats of increasingly sophisticated hacking tactics, the bank has laid down the law, clamping down on certain applications.

If the banking app identifies other applications with suspicious or overly liberal permission settings that could compromise user data, it immediately restricts access to its banking app.

Users will be given an error screen urging them to rectify the risky permission settings before regaining access to their banking services.

“In order for you to continue accessing the Citi Mobile App, you will need to disable any risky permission settings on the other app or tool,” it said.

Citibank said that once a malicious app is installed, scammers can remotely access a user’s device and steal sensitive information, including personal data and banking credentials, to perform fraudulent monetary transactions.

Speaking to Channel News Asia, Citibank said that the security feature on its mobile app will be implemented progressively starting this week and will be completed by the end of next month.

OCBC Introduced a Similar Security Feature

It was only recently that a similar situation occurred with the OCBC digital app.

The security feature on OCBC prevents users from logging onto their OCBC digital app on their phone if it detects potentially risky apps downloaded from unofficial portals.

While the measure has been mostly praised for its focus on customer security, some users have criticised it as overly controlling.


Users had difficulties accessing their accounts after apps like popular Chinese video-sharing platform Douyin, Alipay and LG’s smart appliance control app were flagged by OCBC’s security feature.

The users even took to social media to complain after the security update kicked in.

Complain, that’s what we Singaporeans do best.

It doesn’t take a psychic to foresee the backlash that Citibank’s new feature will likely bring as it is rolled out on the mobile app through the end of next month.

Rise in Scams

According to the Singapore Police Force, there have been over 750 cases of scams involving Android devices in the first half of this year.


At least $10 million was involved in such scams.

If you want to learn more about the Android malware scams, watch this video to the end:

Besides the Android malware scams, other scams to be most vigilant about in the first half of 2023 were job scams, e-commerce frauds, impersonation scams, phishing attempts, and bogus investment opportunities.

These made up a whopping 83.8% of all reported cases. Job scams alone resulted in losses of around $79.4 million. Scammers are getting smart in their tactics to manipulate folks who don’t see it coming.

In particular, job scams often offer remote work opportunities such as social media engagement, restaurant reviews, or survey completion.

Initially, victims are enticed with a small commission after transferring funds to accounts provided by the scammers.


However, when the victims invest larger sums expecting bigger returns, they find themselves without money and unable to contact the scam operators.