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Impersonation scams

Uncover impersonators by understanding their tactics of deceit

WHAT ARE IMPERSONATION SCAMS?

This scam usually sees targets being contacted by someone claiming to be a member of a legitimate business, bank, or local government official. The scammer will ask them to reveal personal details to resolve a supposedly urgent issue, with the intent of stealing those details to commit fraud.

They might threaten their targets, demanding that funds be transferred to them.

HOW DO IMPERSONATION SCAMS WORK?

The approach:

The fraud:

HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM OF IMPERSONATION SCAMS
  • Be sceptical

    Impersonation scams usually start from unsolicited calls or requests.

    Do not trust lofty promises, deals that seem too good to be true, or individuals who call or message you – unsolicited – to ask you to divulge personal information over the phone.

  • Do not give in to pressure
    Never make financial decisions, give away sensitive details about yourself or anyone you know or sign any documents under pressure.
  • Ignore, block and report

    When contacted, hang up immediately if the caller cannot properly identify themselves.

    Do not call any numbers or click on any links in SMSes that claim to be from OCBC. OCBC will never send you SMSes or emails with clickable URLs. Block and report the number used to contact you.

  • Do your checks
    Always verify the authenticity of the information shared with you, or requests made to you, by contacting the organisation directly (e.g. at their website or email address, or via their app or hotline).

    To ensure you are on the correct website, personally enter the URL of the organisation’s website that you intend to visit into your browser’s address bar. View a list of OCBC’s official contact and banking channels.

    If in doubt, seek a second opinion from someone you trust.
  • Be alert

    Enable transaction alerts for your bank accounts and credit cards. Learn more about transaction alerts from OCBC, discover how to set up transaction alerts for card and deposit transactions via the OCBC Digital app, and select your preferred notification channels and threshold limits.

    To ensure you receive OCBC alerts and notifications, let us know immediately if you change your mobile number or email address. Learn how to update your contact details.

    Always read your bank notifications carefully and notify us immediately if any transactions shown are not made by you.

  • Keep your accounts secure

    Do not key your personal information and banking details into unverified webpages.

    Stay vigilant and never give out your Online Banking login credentials (i.e. Access Code and PIN), card details or One-Time Password (OTP) to anyone, including people claiming to be from OCBC. OCBC employees will never ask you to reveal your PIN/OTP or transfer funds to personal accounts.

    Log in to OCBC Internet Banking by typing out www.ocbc.com directly into your browser, or via the OCBC Digital app to make sure that your log in is secure. If you suspect that your account has been compromised, call us at 1800 363 3333 (or +65 6363 3333 if you are overseas).

  • Protect your money

    Do not send money to someone whom you have not met.

    Be responsible for all banking transactions involving your account and do not allow others to perform transactions on your behalf. You may be unknowingly laundering money for criminals – this is a criminal offense that carries hefty fines and prison time.

    Never authorise a transaction or login unless you know its purpose.

    Set daily transaction limits for payments and transfers according to your preference via OCBC Internet Banking or the OCBC Digital app.

  • Take precautions

    Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for each of your online accounts for services such as email, social media, and online shopping, to list a few. This provides your accounts and personal data with an additional layer of protection.

    Be wary of any calls with the ‘+65’ prefix and of international calls with the ‘+’ prefix where the caller claims to be from a legitimate business, government, or organisation such as your bank, especially if you are not expecting an international call. When in doubt, verify the identity of the person(s) and the organisation(s) by calling their hotline numbers.

    The +65 prefix was implemented by Singapore’s Ministry of Communication and Information with telcos in 2020. The purpose is to alert the public that these are calls coming from overseas and that the public should not pick up such calls if they are not expecting anyone calling from overseas.

  • Keep yourself up to date

    Visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s ScamAlert SG website to learn – and take a short quiz – about the latest scams and how to avoid being a victim.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED

Call us

If you believe you have fallen prey to such scams and/or your OCBC account details/funds may be or may have been compromised, please call our Personal Banking hotline at 6363 3333 (or +65 6363 3333 if you are overseas) for assistance. Press 9 to report fraud or 8 to temporarily freeze all your accounts and cards.

Contact the Police and file a report

You can file a police report online or in person at a police station

Find out what information you will need to share if you have fallen prey to a scam.

Contact the platforms involved

Report the scammer to the e-commerce platform, social media website or classified ads website that you purchased the product from and/or where the scammer approached you.

Spread the word

Tell others you know of your experience to help educate and protect them. You can also share your stories on social media or anonymously at www.scamalert.sg.
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