Fraudsters withdraw cash from DBS/POSB accounts

SINGAPORE - A large-scale fraud operation targeting DBS and POSB account holders is raising concern among Singaporeans, as numerous customers report unauthorised withdrawals from their bank accounts.

Since Wednesday, online forums and social-networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have been abuzz with netizens saying there had been fraudulent withdrawals amounting to hundreds of dollars.

Many also said that they warned their friends and family to check their accounts.

In a statement, DBS said that about 200 bank customers had reported unauthorised withdrawals from their ATM- or debit-card accounts.

The average amount withdrawn was about $1,000 per account, added DBS. The bank's standard ATM- and debit-card withdrawal limit is $2,000 per day.

The withdrawals appeared to have taken place in Kuala Lumpur, even though affected account-holders said that their cards had remained in their possession all along.

Many also added that they had not visited Malaysia recently, and could not understand how the criminals had been able to make the withdrawals.

DBS said that it was treating the matter with "utmost priority".

It added that cards reported as compromised were immediately deactivated, and that affected account-holders would be issued with new cards.

Mr Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of consumer banking group (Singapore) at DBS Bank, said: "We have started to proactively contact all customers whose account transaction history indicates that there has been an ATM transaction made in Malaysia, over the past few days, to double-check and confirm that indeed such an ATM transaction was made.

"If the transaction was not made by them - that is, it is fraudulent - we will compensate them in full for the unauthorised transaction within 24 hours."

Any customer who believes their ATM or debit cards may have been compromised should contact the bank immediately, on 1800-220 1111, or visit any of the bank's branches.

Police yesterday also confirmed that they had received several reports of the unauthorised withdrawals, and said that investigations were on-going.

Affected card-holders were advised to lodge a police report via the Electronic Police Centre at or at any neighbourhood police centre.

The report should include the date, amount, location and transaction description for each unauthorised withdrawal, police said.

If the transaction is fraudulent, we will compensate customers in full for the unauthorised transaction within 24 hours.

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