OCBC Introduces New Measures to Prevent Scams, Like Notification Even for $0.01 Transfers

With millions of dollars gone from people’s accounts, how can customers continue to trust OCBC?

Perhaps we should give OCBC a chance to redeem themselves, as they’ve just announced a series of new anti-scam security measures.

Existing Anti-Scam Measures Proven To Be Insufficient

If you’re still confused as to why the OCBC phishing scam went viral, watch this video for a quick recap:

OCBC already had a range of anti-scam security measures before this phishing scam took place. Yes, unbelievable, given the number of people affected and the amount of money lost.

For instance, customers can adjust their account-to-account and overseas funds transfer limits for online banking, or even set their transfer limit to $0 to deactivate transfers completely.

Notifications are set to the existing mobile number or email address registered with the bank whenever there is a transfer or request to change contact details.

The Bank has also never sent SMSes with links regarding banking transactions.

Obviously, these security measures were proven to be insufficient to deal with more sophisticated scammers. The proof? 469 customers reporting a total loss of $8.5 million.

With the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks Singapore (ABS) setting new regulations for all banks to follow, OCBC has complied. Here are the new measures they’re enacting to enhance banking security.

Removal of Clickable Links 

The recent OCBC scams involved scammers sending customers a link to a cloned version of OCBC’s website. Customers would then enter their digital banking information to resolve any “issues” with their account.

Since 11 January, OCBC has removed clickable links in marketing emails or SMSes. So if you see any SMS or email from OCBC that tells you to click a link… yeah, that’s definitely a scam.

PayNow Transfer Limit Decreased and Notifications for $0.01 Transfers 

From 14 January, the Bank reduced the default PayNow funds transfer daily limit from $5,000 to $1,000. If $1,000 is still too much of a risk for you, you can choose to adjust the transfer limit to a minimum of $100.

The amount allowed to be transferred per transaction is also reduced, from $1,000 to $200.

Additionally, transfer notifications for funds transfers and payments through PayNow and FAST transfers are now put at $0.01.

Yes, even a transaction of $0.01 won’t escape you, so you’ll know of any unauthorised transactions immediately no matter how small they are.

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24-Hour Cooling Off Periods

On 31 December 2021, the Bank implemented a 24-hour cooling-off period for digital token provisioning. This came after many people received notifications of unauthorised OneToken activation.

By 31 January, OCBC will also implement a 24-hour cooling-off period for key account changes. This is so that both you and the Bank have enough time to deal with unauthorised change requests.

Dedicated Team To Handle Queries and Reports on Scams

OCBC set up a permanent dedicated customer service care team to handle your queries and reports on fraud. Their hotline also now contains a dedicated option for customers to escalate reports of suspected scams.

No more listening to the automated voice lady telling you that a representative is working hard to take your call as soon as possible!

Ongoing Effort to Educate Public About Scams

The Bank will continue to issue alerts through social media, email, SMS, their website and mobile banking apps to educate customers about scams.

They wish to remind everyone to remain vigilant and to only perform transactions on their official site and apps.

Here are some guidelines to follow to help protect yourself from scams:

  • Do your banking only at the Bank’s official website or mobile apps. Do not click on links in SMSes that supposedly direct you to the Bank’s website!
  • Information like log-in details or one-time passwords should not be given to anyone, nor keyed into any unverified websites.
  • The Bank will never send an SMS to inform you about account closures or lockouts. It will send physical letters instead.
  • The Bank will never send an SMS with a link for you to reactive your account. Reactivation is only done in person at branches or via verified internet banking websites.
  • Do not transfer money to strangers.

Furthermore, IOS users can also download the ScamShield app, which is an app by the Singapore authorities that blocks scam messages and calls.

If still in doubt, do call the official OCBC hotline (which now has a dedicated option for reporting scams) at (65) 6363 3333.

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