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OCBC rolls out account kill switch following spate of phishing scams

OCBC rolls out account kill switch following spate of phishing scams

Following a wave of SMS phishing attacks, OCBC Bank has rolled out a kill switch that enables customers to immediately freeze all their current and savings accounts in an emergency.

The kill switch can be activated in the event of a scam using option ‘8’ via the Bank’s official contact number or at about 500 standalone OCBC Bank ATMs. The feature will be available on all OCBC Bank ATMs by March 2022.

The switch, which can only be deactivated by an OCBC representative, shuts down all current and savings accounts (including joint accounts), ATM access, debit and credit cards and digital banking, as well as OCBC Pay Anyone app access. Once activated, no transactions - whether done digitally, via an ATM or at branches - can be made. Even recurring or pre-arranged fund transfers will be disabled.

The introduction of the new measure follows a spate of SMS phishing scams across banks in Singapore. Earlier this year, OCBC Bank revealed that nearly 470 customers lost at least $8.5 million in December after scammers posed as the lender and sent SMS's with links to phishing sites to victims.

The territory's central bank has ordered all bank to remove clickable links in emails and text messages sent to retail customers and is weighing a host of other measures to crack down on scammers.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 February, 2022, 12:42Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is not a solution to the SMS problem. By the time you detect the problem the damage is done. The solution is get rid of SMS and replace it with our NoPass proactive fraud prevention platform that leverages the biometrics on the account holder's smartphones and PCs to authenticate when the account holder loggings in and to authenticate transactions.


Turning account access on and off creates to much customer friction forcing them to find another bank.