By Nisha Ramchandani and Kenneth Lim
There has been no indication so far that the card-skimming syndicate which struck three DBS Bank ATMs has been selling the data cloned from the cards online, the bank said yesterday.
'We are working closely with the police on the investigation, and so far, the sale of cloned data online has not been detected,' said a DBS spokesman in response to queries from BT, commenting on speculation that the syndicate could have sold confidential client data online.
The card-skimming syndicate first hit DBS customers in January, withdrawing cash from ATMs in Malaysia with clones of original cards used at two ATM machines in Bugis in November.
Nearly 700 DBS customers lost a total of about $1 million, which the bank compensated.
DBS also deactivated and replaced the cards of 2,726 customers - deemed to be 'high-risk' - who had used the two ATMs at Bugis.
This was followed by another bout of unauthorised withdrawals on Feb 19, this time in Singapore, when the fraudsters stole $23,000 from the accounts of 17 DBS customers.
Last week, DBS revealed that it believed a different ATM - without divulging the location - in addition to the two at Bugis had been compromised at around the same time of the Bugis skimming.
The 17 customers were compensated within 24 hours. The bank again deactivated and replaced the cards of a further group of customers who were potentially at risk of fraudulent domestic withdrawals.
DBS has been replacing cards with an EMV chip, as part of a re-carding process that began in January, as the banks in Singapore seek to move to EMV chip technology by 2014.
In response to a query on whether more ATMs could have been compromised, the spokesman said: 'Only if and when actual fraudulent withdrawals take place, and common patterns identified, can a bank conclude that skimming has taken place.'
To minimise risk, it has rolled out measures including SMS alerts upon withdrawals and blocking overseas withdrawals.
Separately, DBS said its managing director of compliance services and security, Jim Pasqurell, has tendered his resignation due to health issues but added that ongoing investigations will not be hampered by his departure.
Mr Pasqurell, 62, will remain with the bank until end-May to ensure a smooth transition process.
This article was first published in The Business Times.