Hundreds of DBS customers hit by fraud

Posted on: Jan 06, 2012

Please be aware of the current issue that hit hundreds of DBS/POSB ATM and debit card holders. There have been a lot of unauthorized withdrawals happened in Malaysia for DBS/POSB accounts even though cards were with the customers in Singapore. Please check your account balances now.

If you think that your ATM or debit card have been compromised, please contact the bank immediately. Please call 1800-220-1111 or visit any DBS or POSB branch. Please do this immediately !!!

And please always be mindful whenever you try to withdraw money. Ensure that your card is inserted to the correct slot. Anything that you think is not ok in the card slot, please inform the bank.

More details of the incident in Today:

In what is believed to be the largest case of its kind to hit any bank in Singapore, around 200 customers here have lost about S$200,000 in fraudulent withdrawals from their DBS and POSB accounts.

DBS said last night it was investigating the unauthorised withdrawals which were made in Malaysia. The average amount withdrawn was about S$1,000 per account, it said. However, the bank assured all customers that it would compensate them in full for any unauthorised transaction within 24 hours.

As news of the fraudulent withdrawals spread yesterday, thousands of DBS customers around the island logged on to the bank's Internet banking website to check their balances. Because of the sudden spike in traffic and the number of users - many could not log onto the website.

The saga began on Wednesday.

Mr Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking group in Singapore for DBS bank said that "some customers" informed the bank on Wednesday of "unauthorised withdrawals made in Malaysia" through their DBS and POSB debit and ATM cards. The bank immediately deactivated the compromised cards.

By Thursday morning, isolated cases were circulating on various social media.

Among those affected were student Lisa Nguyen and her boyfriend Dennis Vo. Ms Nguyen had checked her DBS bank account on Wednesday night and discovered three withdrawals of about RM1,500 (S$615) each. Three instances of transaction fees for the withdrawal of money overseas had also been charged. All this while, however, the 25-year-old was in Singapore, with her ATM card on hand. Mr Vo's account also saw about RM500 missing. That night, the couple lodged police reports - only to discover about 10 others in a similar predicament.

At about 6.45pm yesterday, DBS issued its first statement to the media, saying that investigations were underway.

Mr Soo said: "We are treating this matter with utmost priority and would like to assure customers that they will be fully compensated, for any unauthorised withdrawals, within 24 hours.

"We will also issue replacement ATM/debit cards on the spot at any DBS/POSB branch ... We will also be alerting customers should we detect any unusual activity on their accounts."

DBS is now validating all ATM and debit card transactions made in Malaysia over the past few days. Customers who believe their ATM or debit cards to have been compromised, are advised to contact the bank immediately on 1800-220-1111 or at any DBS or POSB branch.

Yesterday, a police spokesman said "several reports" have been made and that the Commercial Affairs Department is investigating the matter.

"Bank account holders may wish to check their bank account and if they believe unauthorised withdrawals had been made, they are advised to lodge a police report," the spokesman said. "The report should include the date, amount, location and transaction description for each unauthorised withdrawal."

Cases involving unauthorised withdrawals involving ATM cards appear rare here. In 2009, an international crime syndicate of nine Romanians made 27 unauthorised withdrawals amounting to S$5,400 here before they were caught. The last major reported case was in 1995 when three people were arrested for making more than 100 unauthorised withdrawals after stealing credit cards and ATM cards 170 people from their vehicles.

Notified by DBS of the cases, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has advised all ATM card users to exercise caution and responsibility when handling their ATM cards, keeping them safely at all times and protected from theft or misappropriation.

Yesterday, two affected DBS customers told today that the bank has contacted to ask if they were in singapore at the time of the unauthorised transactions, and which ATMs they use here. Despite being told that he would be reimbursed if he was not at fault, a victim, 22-year-old national serviceman who found S$930 withdrawn in two transactions said he remains "quite concerned".


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