Statement by OCBC Bank on update of goodwill payouts relating to the SMS phishing scam
Following the statement made on 19 January 2022 by OCBC Bank that arrangements for full goodwill payouts would be made by the end of last week with all victims of the recent SMS phishing scam impersonating the Bank, OCBC Bank would like to update that this has been completed. There had not been any further fraudulent transactions in relation to this scam over the past few weeks.
The total number of victims who had fallen prey to the scam is 790 with total loss amount of S$13.7 million. About 80% of the amount lost occurred during the year-end festive period of 23 December 2021 to 30 December 2021. During this period, the calls made to the Bank’s contact centre surged by over 40%. The numbers of 469 victims and scammed amount of S$8.5 million reported on 30 December 2021 were based on the police reports made by victims at that time. More police reports were made and submitted to the Bank after the start of January 2022. In addition to those who had made police reports, we also reached out to victims who were not aware they had been scammed. As mentioned previously, more than 200 customers were prevented from falling prey due to our enhanced measures following the initial wave of scams.
OCBC Bank’s investigation has confirmed 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. 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.
OCBC Bank remains committed to ensuring that our customers’ funds remain safe and will continue to improve our customer service and response.