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When a 43-year-old woman entered the OCBC Serangoon branch on Monday (Mar 12) to remit $2,500 to another OCBC account, a red flag went up for bank teller Yao Liang Bing.
The woman told her that it was a Customs clearance fee for a $20,000 parcel stuck at Malaysian Customs.
Ms Yao sensed that the woman was confused and asked her for more information.
The woman told Ms Yao that a man she knew through a social networking platform intended to send her a gift.
In order for her to receive the gift, the victim had to pay the customs clearance fee by depositing the said amount into an OCBC account.
Ms Yao immediately escalated the matter to the Customer Service Manager, Ms June Seah, who also believed it to be a scam.
They advised the woman against making the transfer and to make a police report, which she did.
It was later discovered that they had foiled what was actually an Internet love scam.
They were presented with certificates of appreciation at the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday (Mar 14).
Mr David Chew, director of the Singapore Police Force's Commercial Affairs Department, thanked OCBC Bank for their close cooperation with the Singapore Police Force in detecting and preventing crimes, and commended Miss Yao and Miss Seah for their alertness and public spiritedness when performing their duties.
"Prevention is better than cure and it often takes a concerned bystander to see the need and step up to help a potential victim of a scam," he said.
"As the first point of contact with the victim, Miss Yao and Miss Seah had successfully saved the her from not just losing the initial $2,500 but future financial loss and distress if the scam had continued."