As our lives grow intertwined with technology, phishing scams have also become increasingly prevalent.
Singaporeans have had their guards up against scams since Dec 2021, when nearly 470 OCBC customers fell prey to a phishing attack.
On Wednesday (19 Jan), OCBC announced that they would be making “full goodwill payouts” to all affected customers to cover the money they had lost. This amounts to about $8.5 million.
OCBC said victims would receive the money by next week.
OCBC announced on Wednesday (19 Jan) that they will be making goodwill payouts to victims of the recent SMS phishing scam to cover the full sum of money they had lost.
Thus far, over 100 victims have already received the payouts, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
By next week, all affected customers will receive the money.
OCBC Group CEO Helen Wong asked for customers’ understanding and patience as they need time to process each case to ensure accuracy.
She added that this is necessary to ensure all victims’ cases are treated fairly and properly.
Ms Wong also apologised that OCBC is taking more time than expected to resolve the issues, acknowledging that it is a distressing time for victims.
Ms Wong said OCBC has been actively contacting customers who might have been unaware that they were susceptible to the phishing scam.
According to The Straits Times (ST), this prevented about 200 or more customers from falling prey to the scam.
In Dec 2021, about 470 OCBC customers fell victim to the SMS phishing scam. In total, the losses amounted to at least $8.5 million.
Victims had received unsolicited SMSes claiming there had been issues with their OCBC bank accounts.
It then instructed them to click on a link to resolve the issue.
The link directed victims to a fake website resembling OCBC’s, where they were asked to key in their ibanking account login details.
For many, it was only when they received notifications of unauthorised transactions charged to their bank accounts that they realised they had fallen prey to a scam.
While the OCBC scam incident is still fresh in many minds, just yesterday (19 Jan), DBS bank warned its customers of a similar phishing scam going around.
Authorities were quick to react. On the same day, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) introduced slew of new measures to strengthen digital banking security in Singapore.
This includes removing clickable links in emails and texts sent to customers.
Over the years, scammers have evolved, making it increasingly challenging to discern a scam from a legitimate message or email.
Hopefully, this recent slew of phishing scams will remind us all to stay alert to these scams.
In any case, when in doubt, do contact your bank directly.
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Featured image adapted from CapitaLand.
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