behind the Procon-SP order to limit Pix to R$500 per month It is a concern that goes beyond consumer rights. The agency claims that there has been an increase in kidnappings, thefts and even burglaries (burglary followed by death) associated with the use of means of payment. The Central Bank (BC) states that the action requested by Procon-SP will not be effective and that crimes are caused by factors outside the system.
The amount of crimes in which Pix is used to take money from the victim had already triggered an alert in BC, which is responsible for the payment method. On August 27, BC announced some measures to enhance user security, including A maximum of 1,000 BRL for overnight transactions between individuals (from 8 pm to 6 am).
BC also set a minimum period of 24 hours and a maximum of 48 hours for organizations to authorize requests from users to increase transfer limits via Pix – until then, that period did not exist.
The cybersecurity expert says that limiting Pix transactions may reduce harm to victims, but this measure does not increase the system’s security against fraud and other crimes.
Insufficient security for Pix, says Procon-SP مدير director
Fernando Capes, executive director of Procon-SP and attorney for the Public Ministry in São Paulo, said the BC needs to adopt temporary measures to curb the actions of criminals until authorities agree to a safer model of the system.
According to Caps, the cap of R$1,000 per night for Pix is not enough to reduce theft and kidnappings, and can even encourage more violent crime. “This measure will allow the victim to remain with the kidnapper until dawn. The crime quickly adapts to these circumstances,” he added.
A Record TV survey based on data from the SP’s Public Security Secretariat indicates a 70% increase in lightning hijackings from January to July 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. O UOL Request data on Pix-related crimes in the state, but The SPS has not been reported to the SP.
A limit of R$500 and a quarantine to use Pix
Keps said Procon-SP met with BC managers to request two immediate actions:
- Restrict transfers via Pix between R$500 and R$1,000 per person every 30 days
- Ban users from using Pix within the first 30 days of opening a bank account
With a minimum every 30 days, Procon-SP expects there will be a significant decrease in the number of violent crime, because the gains of criminals will not compensate for the risks.
The 30-day period for using Pix in new accounts is intended to make it difficult to use “oranges” in the movement of funds. Since Pix transfers funds instantly and without fees, criminals use fake accounts created on behalf of third parties to transfer and withdraw funds.
“Because there is no response, the money is withdrawn quickly. BC’s argument that the process is traceable doesn’t matter,” says Kipps.
The Procon-SP director claims that Pix has brought many benefits to the population and managed to get millions of Brazilians into the banking system, but the authorities need to carefully discuss a safer model.
We need to listen to prosecutors, police and security secretaries, because lives that pass never come back.
Fernando Capes, CEO of Procon-SP
BC says that the conversion limit is a setback
BC stated in a note that suspected fraudulent transactions on Pix represented only 0.0001% of the total amount – which equates to about 11,000 suspicious transactions per month.
It is important to note that there is no record of a case of fraud in Pix infrastructures. The causes are all external to the ecosystem, and most are the result of social engineering or public safety issues.
Regarding the Procon-SP proposal, BC reported that the transport restrictions would not be effective and would harm more than 100 million citizens, as well as more than half of businesses in Brazil.
BC also stated that “Banks and other institutions offering Pix must set maximum value limits according to the customer profile, and customers can modify these limits through the app or online banking, with the reduction request having immediate mandatory effect.”
Any action to restrict the use of Pix will be a setback for Brazil, which will only lead to the emigration of criminals to steal money (this action will cause people to return to the extensive use of funds) or crimes involving other means of payment, leaving the population vulnerable.
Reduces losses, but does not increase safety
Armando Santos, who is responsible for payment solutions at Kryptus, a company that specializes in cryptography and cybersecurity, says that restricting transactions on Pix is a way to reduce harm to victims, but it does not solve the security flaws in the system.
“As a temporary solution, it is an interesting proposition, but it is necessary to establish mechanisms to identify fraudsters for a more effective solution,” he says.
Santos stresses that it is necessary to tighten penalties for criminals, increase the speed of investigation procedures and create channels that allow the immediate blocking of suspicious accounts.
“Today there is a very slow process, both in the financial institutions and in the courts themselves.”
According to Santos, the government should also invest in educational campaigns to instruct the population on how to protect themselves from coups and avoid criminal acts.
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