OCBC cautions public about SMS scams after customers lose $140,000 in 10 days | #phishing | #scams

SINGAPORE – OCBC Bank on Thursday (Dec 23) warned that there has been a sharp rise in the number of phishing scams via SMS impersonating it, with 26 customers losing a total of $140,000 to these scams in 10 days, from Dec 8 to 17.

It said: “For the month of December so far, OCBC Bank has detected and initiated the takedown of 45 phishing websites, about eight times more than the average takedown requests every month.”

The bank said of the scams: “Members of the public have received unsolicited SMSes purportedly from the bank claiming there are issues with their bank accounts or credit cards.

“The SMSes contain a link to a fraudulent website disguised as a legitimate bank website requesting banking information and passwords.”

OCBC said it would never send customers an SMS to inform them of an account closure or that they have been locked out of their accounts temporarily.

It added that it would not send an SMS to customers with a link to reactivate their accounts as well.

“These are always communicated via physical letters to prevent online fraud.”

The bank also said it is working with the Singapore Police Force’s Anti-Scam Centre to try and help customers recover funds lost through these fraudulent transactions.

It said it works closely with the police to detect and prevent scams too.

However, it added that once the money has left the customer’s account, the possibility of recovery is very low.

OCBC said the first and strongest line of defence to combat scams lie with customers taking precautions to protect themselves. 

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