Home News Featured News Another DBS cardholder says thieves stole S$2,000 from lost ATM card without...

Another DBS cardholder says thieves stole S$2,000 from lost ATM card without signature or pin number

When the victim asked a DBS customer service officer about this, he was told that, in his case, the card was used for online transactions




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Another DBS cardholder has said that thieves have stolen a sizeable S$2,000 from a debit card he had lost overseas, without needing his signature, pin number or one-time pin (OTP) for online purchases.

Reddit user u/peacedout933 wrote online yesterday that he lost his DBS debit card during a work trip in Jakarta, Indonesia and did not realise he had lost the card until a day later. He only realised he had lost his card when he was sent messages stating that multiple transactions had been made with his card.

When the DBS cardholder logged on to his account online, he found that he had lost S$2,000 in the fraudulent transaction. He promptly called the bank, which is Singapore’s top lender, and asked them to cancel the card.

The netizen reported online that he was surprised that the fraudsters managed to make transactions using the lost debit card without needing his signature or PIN number. When he asked a DBS customer service officer about this, he was told that, in his case, the card was used for online transactions.

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u/peacedout933 wrote: “I was under the impression that any online card transactions required an OTP and I received none. I was confused as to how these online transactions can have gone through. Apparently, not all online transactions via your card require OTP. As long as they have your card number, CVV and expiry date. I was quite taken aback at this point.”

According to the netizen, the stolen funds have been processed and received by the merchants – meaning the fraudsters have already spent the money and the merchants have already collected payment since DBS allowed the transactions to go through.

The cardholder said that DBS will credit the same amount of money that was stolen to his account, within the next 10 working days. The bank has also purportedly launched a fraud investigation, which is expected to take a maximum of two months.

If the investigation shows that the funds were fraudulently accessed, the cardholder will not have to return the funds. If the probe, however, shows that the cardholder spent the funds himself, he will be liable and will have to pay the S$2,000 back to the bank.

The netizen wrote: “So we have to wait and see but I feel like I cannot do much in my circumstance and I don’t know what will happen if their fraud investigation does not go in my favour…”

Asserting that the bank’s security measures have failed him, u/peacedout933 said that the solutions the DBS customer service officer suggested to prevent such incidents from occurring again are “fallible.”

The DBS officer apparently suggested that customers should avoid losing the physical card, avoid allowing overseas usage or shorten the period of approved overseas usage, or use a different card for overseas transactions.

The officer also allegedly said that customers should use an OTP for transactions, avoid exposing the confidential details of their card, like the card number, CVV and expiry date, and be alerted to every transaction so they can quickly cancel their card if they notice suspicious activity.

Pointing out that these measures do not work for him since he needed to use the card overseas and since the card details were accessed without authorisation once he lost his card, the netizen pointed out that he “did not receive a single OTP for these 10ish transactions” that were fraudulently made on his card.

He added that he was asleep when he received an alert about the transactions and so could not have quickly cancelled the card, in his case. The netizen said: “Thinking through all these options, I don’t think they are at all going to prevent this situation to happen to me again…

“I think given the rapid rise of online transactions, we need a more well designed security system for our banking that does not compromise too much on ease or convenience of transacting but yet ensures strong enough measures to prevent stealing of funds to happen.” (sic)

A DBS spokesperson has clarified to The Independent that the card in this case is an international scheme debit card that allows users to make purchases without a pin. Revealing that the bank instantly alerts account-holders when suspicious transactions are detected, the spokesperson said:

“We wish to clarify that the card being referenced is an international scheme debit card. As with other international scheme cards (credit or debit), purchases can be made without a pin. No cash can be withdrawn from ATMs without a pin passcode.
“We constantly monitor credit/debit card transactions in real-time for any suspicious activities. When fraudulent transactions are detected, the bank sends alerts instantly to the affected customer.
“Customers who report unauthorised transactions receive temporary credit within 14 days while we investigate. We urge customers to call us immediately at 1800 111 1111 if they notice any suspicious or unusual activity in their accounts. Here are some tips to keep your card safe, especially when overseas.
  • Be alert and wary of strangers and potential pick pockets, and make sure your card is always kept safely with yourself.
  • Ensure that the correct card is returned to you after any purchases, and purchase from reputable merchants you know and trust.
  • Update your contact details (mobile number and email address) to ensure that you are kept informed of your account activities.
  • Do not swap out your SIM card which will render you uncontactable. Always remain contactable via phone number with the bank as this will be the avenue the bank will use to contact you on matters regarding to your account/card spend.
  • Perform routine checks on your account balances and statements.
  • DBS 24-hour Loss of Card number: 1800 339 6963 or (65) 6339 6963 from overseas.”

A similar incident involving another DBS account-holder came to light earlier this month. In that case, a DBS cardholder alleged that thieves managed to draw S$5,000 from an ATM card he had lost in Bali without needing his signature or pin number, and that he was not notified of the large withdrawal by DBS.


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