Joint police-OCBC operation stops scam losses of more than $12.6m for 700 victims
Live interventions were carried out during a recent month-long joint operation by the Singapore Police Force’s Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) and OCBC Bank to prevent losses of more than $12.6 million for more than 700 victims.
Officers from ASC and OCBC conducted live interventions by analysing in real time the fund flows to more than 500 bank accounts which surfaced in scam reports, said the police on Sunday.
The officers identified scam victims who had been transferring monies to these bank accounts and sent out more than 1,000 SMSes to alert them to ongoing scams.
The operation was held from March 16 to April 15.
To speed up intervention, ASC officers used robotic process automation technology to automate the process of information-sharing, information-processing and mass-sending of SMSes to the scam victims, said the police.
The early alert to scam victims helped them to mitigate their financial losses.
Through the operation, more than 700 victims were told that they could have fallen prey to scams and were advised to stop any further monetary transfers, said the police.
The victims realised that they had been deceived only after the police engaged them.
The police advise members of the public to safeguard themselves against scams by adopting the following measures:
– Add security features such as ScamShield and two-factor authentication for personal accounts. Also, set up transaction limits for Internet banking to limit the amount of funds that could possibly be lost in the event of a scam.
– Check for potential signs of a scam by asking questions, fact-checking requests for personal information and money transfers, and verifying the legitimacy of online listings and reviews. Take the time to pause and check. If a deal is too good to be true, it is probably untrue and a scam.
– Tell the authorities and others about scam encounters by reporting to the bank, ScamShield or by filing a police report. Tell others about ongoing scams and the preventive steps they can take.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline on 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness