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In the final two weeks of December 2021, at least 469 OCBC customers fell victim to phishing scams that saw a collective S$8.5 million swiped from their bank accounts.

While there have been many instances of phishing scams in Singapore, this latest round proved particularly devious, given the methods used and speed at which scammers were able to transfer funds out of victims’ accounts.

For many of the victims, however, the devastating loss of their hard-earned life savings was only made worse by what they perceived as a lackadaisical effort by the bank in helping them recover their funds.

A total of 10 victims who Mothership spoke to echoed similar sentiments that OCBC did little to help them remedy the situation, and expressed shock at how ill-equipped the bank was at handling scam cases.

Unable to get through hotline, money siphoned out while on hold

When 36-year-old homemaker, Denise (not her real name) and her husband realised that they may have been victims of a phishing scam, he immediately called the OCBC hotline to try to get the bank to stop the scammers in their tracks.

However, instead of getting a response, Denise’s husband was put on hold for over 20 minutes.

During which, he received more SMS notifications that his OneToken had been activated.

The OneToken is OCBC’s digital authentication tool for internet transactions.

He was also notified that his transaction limit was…

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