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OCBC phishing scam left victim broke and starving on Christmas Day

Being penniless and hungry on Christmas Day was not something that 33-year-old Trisha (not her real name), whose OCBC bank account was targeted by scammers through an SMS phishing scam on Christmas Eve last month, ever imagined could happen to her.

Like many others who received a text message disguised as an official message from the bank, the Singaporean clicked on a link in the fake message that exhorted her to activate the bank’s OneToken authentication tool.

It brought her to another fake website, but one that, to her, looked convincingly like the bank’s internet banking login page.

Within minutes of her keying in her account information and one-time password (OTP), the scammers hijacked her OCBC bank account and drained it of S$68,000 — her entire savings. The bank could not reverse the fraudulent transactions.

“I had to borrow money from friends and family on Christmas just so I didn’t go hungry,” she recalled. “It was humiliating.”

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