Don't access accounts via SMS links, OCBC says to customers; what else you need to know to avoid scams

3 months ago 44

SINGAPORE - A couple in their 20s lost about $120,000 in a fake text message scam targeting OCBC Bank customers. They were among at least 469 people who reportedly fell victim to phishing scams involving the bank in the last two weeks of December in 2021.

The victims lost around $8.5 million in total.

Can such victims get their money back, or are they responsible for the funds lost? Should banks be made to pay for phishing scam losses? Meanwhile, how can you avoid being scammed in a similar way?

Young couple lost $120k in fake text message scam targeting OCBC Bank customers

It took a man and his wife five years to save about $120,000, but in just 30 minutes, scammers using a fake text message stole the money they had kept in their OCBC Bank joint savings account.

"The SMS looked like it came from OCBC and entered the usual SMS chat history from OCBC used for authentic banking services," the husband said.

"The link took me to a site that looked exactly like the OCBC login page."

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Mum of seven children scammed of $100,000, but ‘fault is not mine alone’

A victim said that after she keyed in her username, password and other relevant details, and checked into her account, she received a notification stating that her transfer limit had been increased to $100,000. 

When she noticed that, she immediately called OCBC as she had not approved this. However, “OCBC's hotline is not equipped to immediately handle scams which are in progress”.

She had to navigate an automated system for a long time before reaching a person. In just a few minutes, almost $100,000 was gone.

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