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January 17, 2022

OCBC may face supervisory action over recent phishing scam

By Shivam Mishra

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) may take supervisory action against the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) after the lender failed to prevent a phishing scam last month.

According to a Reuters report, the scam resulted in monetary losses of at least $6.31m and affected around 469 OCBC customers.

In a statement, MAS was quoted by the news agency as saying: “MAS takes a serious view of the recent phishing scams involving OCBC Bank.

“MAS has been following up with the bank on these and broader issues relating to the incident.”

In a separate development, OCBC announced that it has started making goodwill payouts to the victims of the SMS phishing scam.

It has set up a dedicated team to support victims and to date over 30 customers have received goodwill payouts.

OCBC noted that the scam was ‘particularly aggressive and highly coordinated’ and the victims provided their online banking details to phishing websites.

The lender has also acknowledged that its ‘customer service and response fell short of our customers’ expectations’.

OCBC Bank group CEO Helen Wong said: “I want to assure our customers and members of the public that our banking systems and digital banking platforms are safe and secure.

“But scammers are increasing in sophistication. Therefore, I urge everyone to stay alert and do your banking only at the Bank’s official websites and on the official mobile apps.”

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