Suspected scammer posing as ST journalist contacts DBS customer
SINGAPORE - Someone claiming to be a journalist from The Straits Times contacted a DBS customer asking for personal information, prompting the bank to alert the police.
Calling it a new type of scam tactic, a DBS spokesman said the bank will assist in police investigations, if required.
Screenshots sent to ST show a conversation between a person calling himself “Daniel”, and a female DBS customer.
“Daniel” said he was a reporter from ST, and claimed to have received the woman’s contact details from DBS.
He claimed she had fallen prey to a phishing scam recently, and asked if she was willing to “do some sharing” to raise awareness of such scams.
He claimed all information would be kept private and confidential.
It is not known how “Daniel” obtained her contact details, but the message contained grammatical and punctuation errors, which are often telltale signs of scam messages.
The DBS spokesman said the bank will never divulge personal or financial information to a third-party without prior consent.
The spokesman added DBS has contacted the customer to provide assistance.
On its website, DBS on Wednesday called this incident a new impersonation scam involving a scammer posing as a journalist from a local newspaper seeking customer information for a story.
It said these scammers may then lure customers into providing personal information such as usernames and password combinations, full name, address, email and date-of-birth.
When ST contacted the number in the message, no one picked up.
ST then messaged “Daniel” to clarify his identity and intentions, but there was no reply.
An SPH Media spokesman confirmed that no such journalist from the company sent the message.
The spokesman said: “It has come to our attention that there are attempts by scammers trying to obtain information by impersonating journalists on messaging apps.
“We confirm that the reported message was not sent by an SPH Media journalist.
“We encourage members of the public to verify the identity of our journalists by contacting them via their official email addresses or the SPH Media main line at +65 6319 6319.”
The spokesman added that scam prevention tips are available on the National Crime Prevention Council’s Scam Alert site at https://www.scamalert.sg/
And if anyone thinks they are a victim of a scam, they should contact the appropriate authorities immediately.
Customers remain the first line of defence in safeguarding against scams, said the DBS spokesman.
To protect themselves, the spokesman said customers should never disclose their personal or Internet banking details and one-time passwords (OTPs) to anyone, nor ‘lend’ their bank account to anyone.
Also, bank officers will never ask for banking details or OTPs over the phone or via SMS. If in doubt, customers can call the bank’s official hotline and verify the correspondence or email address, said the spokesman.
Phishing scams were the most common ruse in 2022 with 7,097 cases, a 41.3 per cent spike from the 5,023 cases in 2021.
The police said that in such scams, scammers impersonate officials or trusted entities to trick victims into revealing their credit card details and bank account information.
However, the total amount lost by phishing scam victims decreased by 52.6 per cent, from $34.8 million in 2021 to $16.5 million in 2022.
Scam victims in Singapore lost nearly $1.3 billion in the past two years, according to police figures.
- Never click on dubious URL links provided in unsolicited text messages. Banks do not send SMSes containing links
- Always verify the authenticity of claims of problems with your bank account or cards issued by the bank with the official bank website or sources
- Enable transaction alerts on your accounts and cards, so you can take immediate steps if you do not recognise the transaction
- If you suspect any fraudulent activity on your DBS/POSB cards, immediately call DBS’ dedicated 24-7 fraud hotline at 1800-339-6963 (from Singapore) or (+65) 63396963 (from overseas)
- For more information, visit https://www.dbs.com.sg/personal/deposits/bank-with-ease/protecting-yourself-online#security-and-you