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OCBC to give S$13.7Mn of goodwill payouts to 790 phasing scam victims

OCBC to give S$13.7Mn of goodwill payouts to 790 phasing scam victims

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), the Singapore-based banking and financial corporation, has reportedly arranged for full goodwill payouts of S$13.7 million to a total of 790 customers who fell victim to the phishing scam that targeted the company.

Singapore's second-largest bank announced on Sunday that 'full goodwill payouts' have been arranged for all victims of the SMS phishing scam where scammers impersonated the firm.

According to reports, there were no more fraudulent payments in connection with the scam in the last two weeks.

OCBC Bank explained that people who fell victim to the scam supplied their mobile banking log-in information and one-time (OTP) PINs to phishing sites, allowing criminals to hack into their bank accounts to make unauthorized transactions.

Considering the circumstances of the fraud, OCBC Bank chose to provide the full payout as a one-time goodwill gesture. The bank said it also considered how, in some circumstances, its response and customer support came up short of its expectations, which could have influenced loss mitigation.

The firm stated that it remains focused on protecting the safety of its customers' funds and that it would keep improving its customer response and service.

During last year’s year-end holiday season, victims lost nearly 80% of the S$13.7 million, between December 23 and December 30. At the time, the overall volume of calls to the bank's help desk increased by more than 40%.

Last month, authorities announced that up to 469 people had been victims of phishing attempts targeting the bank, with damages closing to S$8.5 million.

According to OCBC, the Sunday numbers were drawn from police reports lodged by consumers at the time, adding that more such complaints were made and sent to the bank this month.

OCBC stated that in tandem with the ones who had filed police reports, the company also sought out individuals who were unaware they had already been defrauded. It also added that its enhanced procedures, following the initial wave of frauds, protected over 200 users from succumbing to more scams.

The firm also removed clickable links in its SMS and advertising emails, also reducing the PayNow transactions’ daily limit from S$5000 to S$1000, as a precautionary step.

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