New scam alert: Caller pretends to be from your bank, asks for OTP to authenticate account

SINGAPORE – She received a call from what appeared to be her bank. So when she was asked to provide her one-time password (OTP) to “authenticate” her account, she did not suspect anything.

But when she realised she had been scammed, it was too late – unauthorised transactions had already been made.

Using the example above, the police on Thursday (Feb 21) warned of a new scam targeting bank customers here.

A person impersonating bank staff would call, using a spoofed phone number resembling the bank’s personal banking hotline.

Police advised members of the public to be wary of unsolicited calls from such individuals, noting that scammers can use technology to mask their actual phone number and display the bank’s instead.

It also advised against disclosing personal details such as OTPs or account username and passwords to anyone over phone, e-mail or texts.

“If you receive a suspicious call purportedly from your bank, hang up and call the hotline published on the bank’s website to verify the authenticity of the request,” the police said, adding that one should not call the number provided by the suspicious caller.

“Do not respond to digital token authentication requests via phone calls if you did not initiate any Internet banking transaction. Do not authorise any suspicious authentication request,” it said in its statement.

In the past, scammers often attempted to trick bank customers via SMS.

Last month, The Straits Times said there had been a resurgence of phishing SMSes targeting DBS and POSB customers, with more than 90 reports since September last year.

The text messages would provide fraudulent links or ask for personal details to “unlock” victims’ bank accounts.

Similar scams were also reported in November and October last year.

Apart from banks, the Ministry of Finance warned in October last year of fake SMSes on the SG Bonus purportedly sent by the Government.

Singapore Airlines also warned last month of phishing text messages promising free plane tickets from websites masquerading as its own.

The public can call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit for scam-related advice.

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