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OCBC completes arrangements to fully reimburse all phishing scam victims, who total 790 with combined losses of S$13.7m

SINGAPORE — OCBC has completed arrangements to fully reimburse all victims of a recent SMS phishing scam with "goodwill payments" to 790 customers totalling S$13.7 million — significantly higher than the figures initially reported. 

OCBC completes arrangements to fully reimburse all phishing scam victims, who total 790 with combined losses of S$13.7m
OCBC Bank said that of the total money lost by its customers, about 80 per cent was lost during the year-end festive period of Dec 23 to Dec 30 last year. 

SINGAPORE — OCBC has completed arrangements to fully reimburse all victims of a recent SMS phishing scam with "goodwill payments" to 790 customers totalling S$13.7 million — significantly higher than the figures initially reported. 

The bank had said on Jan 19 that it would be making arrangements with all customers who were victims of the scam to fully reimburse them by the end of last week. 

"OCBC Bank would like to update that this has been completed," OCBC said in a statement on Sunday (Jan 30).

The bank said that of the total money lost by its customers, about 80 per cent was lost during the year-end festive period of Dec 23 to Dec 30 last year. 

"During this period, the calls made to the bank’s contact centre surged by over 40 per cent," OCBC said. 

At the end of last month, the Singapore Police Force said that at least S$8.5 million from 469 victims were lost due to scams involving SMSes impersonating OCBC. 

OCBC said that more police reports were made and submitted to the bank since the start of this year, and that on top of those who had made police reports, the bank had also reached out to victims who were not aware they had been scammed.

Last week, OCBC said that it has stepped up its security measures, including initiating transaction notifications for fund transfers through PayNow and inter-bank payments for amounts as low as one cent. 

The bank said on Sunday that there had not been any further fraudulent transactions in relation to this scam over the past few weeks.

"More than 200 customers were prevented from falling prey due to our enhanced measures following the initial wave of scams," OCBC added. 

Investigations by the bank have also found that victims who fell prey had provided their online banking log-in credentials and one-time PINs to phishing websites, thereby "enabling the scammers to take over their bank accounts and make fraudulent transactions".

"Nonetheless, OCBC Bank decided to make the full payout as a one-off gesture of goodwill given the circumstances of this scam," it said. 

"We also took into consideration that our customer service and response fell short of our own expectations, that could have affected loss mitigation in some of the cases." 

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OCBC Scam phishing

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