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Police reports rise in SMS phishing scams; DBS customers lose S$446,000 in first two weeks of 2024

At least 219 customers of DBS have fallen victim to SMS phishing scams, suffering a combined loss of about S$446,000 (US$335,000) in the first two weeks of the year.

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In the first two weeks of the year, at least 219 customers of DBS, a major bank in Singapore, have fallen victim to SMS phishing scams, suffering a combined loss of about S$446,000 (US$335,000). This surge in scam cases, where fraudsters impersonate banks or bank staff, has been on the rise since December last year, according to a joint news release by the police and DBS on Sunday (14 Jan).

Victims received unsolicited SMS messages, seemingly from DBS or POSB, alerting them of unauthorized account access attempts and urging them to click on embedded links. These links led to fake DBS websites where victims were tricked into giving away their internet banking details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs), enabling scammers to make unauthorized withdrawals.

A DBS spokesperson, responding to a query from Channel News Asia, mentioned that the bank would assess victims’ circumstances and offer goodwill payouts on a case-by-case basis, along with counselling services for those needing emotional support. The bank has a robust anti-scam awareness program to educate the public about such frauds.

The police and DBS emphasized that banks do not send clickable links via SMS. Since early 2022, all banks have stopped including clickable links in emails or SMS to retail customers as a measure to combat phishing scams. Other safeguards include lowered transaction notification thresholds and increased scam education alerts.

The authorities also advised the public to install the ScamShield App, enable two-factor authentication for bank accounts and e-wallets, and set up transaction limits. DBS reiterated that its employees will never ask for internet banking credentials or OTPs.

Customers suspecting scam involvement can call DBS’ fraud hotline or use the Safety Switch on DBS’ automated phone system to block access to their funds.

Crisis of confidence in digital banking: Sylvia Lim

On January 10, Workers’ Party Chairman Sylvia Lim raised concerns about the crisis of public confidence in digital transactions in the Singapore Parliament. She noted that even traditionally trusted savings avenues are now vulnerable to scams and malware. Ms Lim highlighted that recent “money lock” options introduced by three banks reflect the digital sphere’s inherent vulnerabilities.

She pointed out that even previously trusted savings avenues, like CPF funds and fixed deposits, are now vulnerable to scams and malware, contributing to this crisis of trust.

Although three banks have introduced “money lock” options to safeguard customer funds against cyber threats, Ms Lim noted that this move reflects an acknowledgement of the digital sphere’s inherent vulnerabilities.

“I would not like to exaggerate the situation, but I would say that we are moving towards a crisis of confidence in digital banking, without stronger intervention by government regulators.”

Ms Lim reiterated the importance of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in regulating banks, especially in terms of prevention and loss sharing in the context of scams.

She previously raised this concern in the House and submitted a proposal to MAS regarding the Risk Sharing Framework for scam losses.

Ms Lim highlighted the unequal bargaining power between banks and consumers, reminding the MAS of its pivotal role as the bank regulator to ensure that banks behave responsibly and ethically.

“Over the last few months, I have received sceptical feedback from some members of the public, that the banks’ interests will always be protected at the expense of the consumer; I hope that the MAS will demonstrate that this is not true.”

Responding to Ms Lim’s concerns, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communication and Information, cautioned MPs against spreading alarmist labels. She compared the Workers’ Party members to bystanders criticizing firefighters’ efforts in extinguishing fires.

Ms Lim clarified that her intent was not to create panic but to address public concerns, citing Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) statistics showing 99% of people aged 60 and above are worried about becoming scam victims. She also noted that public sentiment is increasingly wary of online communications, with some residents even preferring to take their accounts offline.

Mrs Teo did not directly address Ms Lim’s statistics on scam victim concerns but emphasized that social media posts should be beneficial and not sensationalized.

“I hope that messages being put out by MPs don’t simply use very sensational or glaring headlines.’

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THE INDO🤧👳🏾‍♂️😷STINYPOORA CONNECTION
– The 💯Inside®️ Job

The day (or minute, even moment)
the Big Three
– namely, 🏚DeBtS💸, 👂🏻💩耳屎OCBC鼻屎👃🏻💩 & 大滑🏦📉yoUOBiang –

de-indianize their operations, viz. reduce their payroll unsustainably overstaffed by ampuneh, kelinga, bun+curry content of compatriots/kinfolk/tribesmen, what-(the-F-)have-yew’s from Asia’s dark subcontinent,

will be the day the 8️⃣9️⃣6️⃣5️⃣Leepharkbrick of Stinkypoora comes out of the scam-dom curse, everyone reading this can be assured. Or, as the ‘saying’ goes: you get your money back.

And the sooner, the better🤝🏻tank yew harry mark😙
Oh, JOHN, LUKE, MAT🖕🏻乜都屌🖕🏻THEW, too🤗

😇🙌🏾Aye, men🤚🏾💥✋🏽😈
Ali👲🏾Loo🚽Ja‼️

… 🫢r was it harry🥶🦣🦪😋lubia…

THE INDO🤧👳🏾‍♂️😷STINYPOORA CONNECTION
– THE INSIDE®️ JOB

The day (or minute, even moment)
the Big Three
– namely, 🏚DeBtS💸, 👂🏻💩耳屎OCBC鼻屎👃🏻💩 & 大滑🏦📉yoUOBiang –

de-indianize their operations, viz. reduce their payroll unsustainably overstaffed by ampuneh, kelinga, bun+curry content of compatriots/kinfolk/tribesmen, what-(the-F-)have-yew’s from Asia’s dark subcontinent,

will be the day the 8️⃣9️⃣6️⃣5️⃣Leepharkbrick of Stinkypoora comes out of the scam-dom curse, everyone reading this can be assured. Or, as the ‘saying’ goes: you get your money back.

And the sooner, the better🤝🏻tank yew harry mark😙
Oh, JOHN, LUKE, MAT🖕🏻乜都屌🖕🏻THEW, too🤗

😇🙌🏾Aye, men🤚🏾💥✋🏽😈
Ali👲🏾Loo🚽Ja‼️

… 🫢r was it harry🥶🦣🦪😋lubia…

SMS scam through malware links is 100 percent the FAULT of the Telcos. The police and banks saying that legitimate bank SMSs do not contain links is POINTLESS. The Telcos should be able to EASILY scan SMSs passing through their networks for bank SMSs that have links and delete them BEFORE they are even routed to their subscribers.

All I can say is that those people working at the Telcos are forehead slapping INCOMPETENT.

Well done 1st World country. tsk tsk tsk

eh. even before 2024, Scamshield app also got faked leh? the largest amt of scams and money lost were from faked or shady apps, not SMS.

im not saying SMS is perfect, but it was last hackable, it still required “social engineering” to get your OTP. phishing websites can be found on google searches even without SMS.

also bring back physical token which can’t be faked or hacked online. only “social engineered” to get the code, or outright robbed IRL.

A renowned scam city, period.

Reported and published facts: Dec2023 ~ Social media job offer scams dupe at least 180 victims in SillyPore of 2.6million !!! First week of Jan2024 ~ At least 83 victims have lost 155thousand in DBS phishing scam !!! Second week of Jan2024 ~ At least 136 DBS customers have lost 291thousand to scams !!! Issit little wonder that the red dot is the most kena scammed nation, … on planet earth. Issit any wonder, … that scammers the world over, are dedicated to and entirely focused on, targeting SillyPoreans !!! SillyPoreans’ naivete, bubbled in this pap~manufactured safe and secure environment… Read more »

Good News

Karma

When a patient is sick, need medical assistance. But here comes the PAP Administration Monster, a Devil, sick to the core, naturally evil, to a good number of critical thinking Singaporeans, COME TO the rescue, of the sick patient, PRETEND to appear to be an ANGEL, to say, no problem every thing shall be fine, don’t be deceived by others, TO GIVE FAKE ASSURANCES.

This is THE PAP’S MOST DANGEROUS DISSERVICE to the people of SG.

And exactly ATTACKING Sylvia Lim who is ACTING as The Good SAMARITAN

No one would ever criticize firefighters if they were doing a good job. On the other hand, firefighters who are incompetent and cause more death and destruction through inaction are truly deserving of criticism. This is exactly what is happening here where MAS does nothing to mandate tighter security and protects the banks from all liability while throwing the helpless consumer to the dogs. Josephine Teo being Josephine Teo, conveniently throws all logic out of the window and lumps deserving criticism with criticizing for the sake of criticizing. But we must forgive her because attacking others is her only way… Read more »

im starting to think if these are legit

Is SG getting safer? National Defence?

Why is Gupta still with DBS? And jo Teo said because of high reporting of scams?

It is the Police saying jo?

For every dollar scammed from our local banks, penalise jo teo for her failure to do her job well. $446k is less than her annual payout from taxpayers. The pap must claw back this amount to give jo teo incentive to work well and perform well.

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