42 honoured for helping to foil scams

A DBS bank officer sensed something was amiss when a woman went to its HarbourFront Centre branch last year to transfer US$1,670 (S$2,400) to a personal account in Thailand.

Senior customer service executive Kelvin Low found out that the customer did not speak Thai and had never lived in Thailand.

He told assistant customer service manager Alyssa Low about his suspicions.

The woman told Ms Low that the amount was a "service fee" for a monetary transaction.

Thanks to the DBS officers, she soon realised that she had been duped and informed the police.

The duo were among 42 people from 14 organisations who were recognised with awards from the Commercial Affairs Department on Wednesday. They had helped prevent victims from falling prey to scams involving more than a million dollars last year.

Other organisations whose staff received certificates of appreciation at the Police Cantonment Complex include Maybank, UOB and remittance company Hanshan Money Express.

DBS Bank's managing director and distribution head Susan Cheong told The Straits Times that its staff managed to foil about 100 scams at its branches last year.

She added: "Our branch staff stay alert when performing their duties and will always seek to obtain more information from customers who may be victims of scams.

"This may include inquiring about the reasons for any large cash withdrawals which are not in line with their normal transaction patterns, or for dubious fund transfers where the beneficiary is unknown to the customer."

Ms Cheong told ST that employees will alert their colleagues whenever they become suspicious.

She said: "We regularly conduct training for our branch staff on the various ways of detecting scams."

The police said members of the public can visit Scamalert.sg to find out more about the latest scams.

They can also share their experiences on the website.

To seek advice, they can also call the National Crime Prevention Council's anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688.

This article was first published on Jan 13, 2017.
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