SINGAPORE: Maybank Singapore has successfully thwarted scams, saving its customers almost S$1 million in 2023. Collaborating with the Singapore Police Force, the bank diligently tracked and intervened in 14 scam cases from March to November, preventing losses amounting to S$975,800.
In a notable case, The Straits Times reported that Ms Nurul Amaleena, an assistant service manager at Maybank’s Jurong Point branch, averted a significant financial disaster for a 61-year-old customer. Acting swiftly upon detecting suspicious signs during a cashier’s order request, Ms Amaleena prevented the customer from losing her life savings – a total of S$338,000 – to a government official impersonation scam.
The incident happened on Oct 25 when the customer, in a seeming rush, applied for a S$130,000 cashier’s order. Ms Amaleena, noticing the urgency and the substantial amount involved, probed the customer further, discovering a distressing situation.
The customer, under the influence of a scammer posing as a police inspector, was coerced into believing she was implicated in a money laundering case. The scammer had threatened legal action against her family if she did not comply.
Despite initial resistance, the customer eventually disclosed her situation, prompting Ms Amaleena to escalate the matter to Maybank’s digital banking fraud team.
The team, working with the police’s Anti-Scam Centre, swiftly acted to freeze the scammer’s foreign bank account and safeguard the funds.
Simultaneously, they advised the customer to encash two additional cashier’s orders, totalling S$208,000, into her Maybank account to secure the money.
Maybank’s prompt intervention protected the customer and facilitated a coordinated effort with law enforcement to address the issue.
The victim subsequently filed a police report, and Maybank continues collaborating with the ongoing investigation to ascertain the amount and outcome of funds transferred to the scammer’s foreign bank account.
In a similar situation, a UOB staff prevents 80-year-old woman from being scammed $40K by her “grandson”. The incident happened on Oct 9 at the UOB Plaza. With the help of the Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council, the man’s fraudulent identity was confirmed and arrested.
There are 22,339 scam cases reported in Singapore in the first half of 2023, resulting in a total loss of S$334.5 million for victims.
The government official impersonation scam, ranking ninth in prevalence, led with an average loss of approximately S$116,000 per victim.
Globally, scammers siphoned off an alarming S$1.4 trillion between Aug 2022 and Aug 2023, with Singaporean victims experiencing the highest average losses, averaging US$4,031 (S$5,370) per individual. /TISG