OCBC alerts public on rising phone scams impersonating bank

OCBC Bank said that it has received almost 1,081 calls from customers and the public regarding this issue from July 1 to July 17.

OCBC Bank alerted its customers and the general public that there has been a sharp rise in phone scams over the past few weeks. It asked customers to be careful over phone calls impersonaitng the bank.

In a media release on Monday, OCBC Bank said it has received 1,081 calls from customers and the public regarding this issue from July 1 to July 17. To-date, it has received more than 1,200 calls on the matter.

The bank said that typically in a phone scam individuals receive an automated voice call which prompts for a response. These calls have impersonated courier companies and banks, including OCBC.

The number of the caller is either a shortened six- or seven-digit number which appears to be from outside Singapore, a private number (no caller ID shown), or in some cases, may even look like OCBC's official contact number (+65 63633333) or some variation of it (e.g. 065 63633333).

After following the instruction to key in a number, the individual usually would be transferred to a Mandarin-speaking person with a non-local accent. This Mandarin-speaking person would ask for the individual's personal or banking information including their name, account number, account balance, contact details and might even ask for the three-digit CVV number that is found on the back of the card as well as the serial number of hardware token in cases involving installation of certain mobile applications.

OCBC Bank warned the public that it does not initiate any sort of automated voice calls that require an interactive response. It also stressed that it uses English as the primary form of communication, unless the customer indicates a preference for a different language.

The bank said it may pose questions to customers to verify their identity but these would never be questions related to security information such as PIN number, account numbers and other important documents.

It also added that the customers will not be requested to make any fund transfer to bank account.

OCBC advised the customers to terminate the call and contact OCBC at 1800 363 3333 (+65 6363 3333 if overseas) to verify, if they receive such calls.