OCBC Bank observes big rise in number of queries from customers and general public related to phone scams impersonating the bank
Singapore, 18 July 2016 – OCBC Bank has observed a big rise in the number of calls from customers and the general public related to phone scams impersonating the Bank over the past few weeks. OCBC Bank would like to alert our customers and members of the public to how these scams operate.
The phone scams typically work this way: Individuals receive an automated voice call prompting a response. These calls have impersonated courier companies and in an evolving modus operandi, have also claimed to be from banks including OCBC Bank. The caller’s number is either a truncated 6 to 7 digit number that looks like it is originating from outside Singapore, a private number (no caller ID shown), or in some cases, may even appear as OCBC Bank’s official contact number (+6563633333) or some variation of it (e.g. 06563633333).
Upon following the instruction to key in a number, the individual would be transferred to a Mandarin-speaking person with a non-local accent. This person would ask for the individual’s personal or banking information including:
a) Name & NRIC
b) Contact details
c) Account number
d) Account balance
e) Credit card number and the 3-digit CVV number found on the back of the card
f) Serial number of hardware token in cases involving installation of certain mobile applications
OCBC Bank has raised awareness and provided additional training to frontline staff on this matter. To help individuals avoid becoming victims, OCBC Bank has alerted members of the public as well as its customers of these scams through the following measures:
• Posted security advisories on its website at http://www.ocbc.com/personal-banking/online-banking/security_advisory.html and its Facebook page
• Shared security advisories with netizens on popular social media platforms
OCBC Bank would like to highlight several ways by which individuals can assess whether calls are legitimate:
• OCBC Bank does not initiate automated voice calls that require an interactive response.
• When initiating communications with customers and members of the public, OCBC Bank adopts English as it is the primary business language and the most widely understood language in Singapore. OCBC representatives will typically switch to another language only if the customer has shown or indicated a preference for a language other than English.
• While OCBC Bank may pose questions to customers to verify their identity, these would never be questions related to security information such as PIN number, token number, credit card CVV number and account numbers.
• OCBC Bank will not request the customer to make any funds transfer to another bank account. All funds transfers are initiated by customers.
With the understanding of how the practices of phone scammers differ from those of the Bank, recipients of calls, if still in doubt about their authenticity, are advised to terminate the call and then contact OCBC Bank at 1800 363 3333 (+65 6363 3333 if overseas) to verify.