OCBC Bank has announced today (17 Jan) that they have already started to payout victims who were affected by the phishing scams.
At the time of the report, OCBC said that they have already paid out more than 30 affected customers since 8 Jan.
For the rest of the customers who have not received their payments, the bank said that their cases are still under review.
Out of ‘goodwill’
The bank added that these payouts were out of ‘goodwill’ and will be made after verification has been done as well as the unique circumstances of each case.
However, they did not mention if the ‘goodwill’ payments to the victims will be in partial or in full and who will not qualify for them.
OCBC also acknowledged the shortfalls of their customer services and the time they took to respond to the situation.
It has already set up a team dedicated to deal with the victims queries.
They added that more time will be needed to address the concerns of the affected customers as investigations into the scams involves many different groups of people and checks.
It seeks the cooperation and patience of the affected customers for more time to complete their checks and validation.
Once the cases are validated and reviewed, they will contact the affected customers.
469 affected, $8.5 million lost
469 customers were affected in these series of scams and the total amount lost to the scammers was a grand total of $8.5million.
Many people were duped by scammers into handing their personal information over in Dec 2021 after scammers imitated a bank’s official SMS channel and communicated with the victims.
Some customers even claimed that their accounts were hijacked by the scammers even though they did not hand over their one time password or token information to them.
OCBC issued a warning to their customers not to access their bank accounts via these dubious messages and said that they will not send anymore website links via their SMS channel.
Group CEO, Ms Helen Wong, also apologised and said that their digital platforms and banking systems remain safe for usage.
She also urged everyone to stay vigilant against such scams and only do their banking activities on OCBC’s official website or mobile app.
Image source: Google Maps