At least 219 DBS customers duped by fake SMS and lost over $440,000 to scammers in just 2 weeks

In just the first two weeks of the year, at least 219 DBS customers lost a total of at least $446,000 after getting an SMS they thought was from the bank.

Since December, there has been a surge in cases where scammers would impersonate banks or bank staff to phish victims’ banking credentials via SMSes.

In these cases, the victims would be misled into clicking on links in unsolicited SMSes before losing their money.

In the SMSes from the purported scammers (bearing overseas numbers, local numbers, or short codes), they claimed to represent DBS/POSB and warn victims of "possible unauthorised attempts to access their bank accounts” before urging them to click on the embedded URL links to “verify their identities and stop the transactions”.

After clicking on the links, the victims were directed to spoofed DBS bank websites and misled into providing their Internet banking credentials and one-time password (OTP), which the scammers would use to make unauthorized withdrawals.

Since early 2022, all banks have removed clickable links in emails or SMSes to retail customers.

This measure is among several other safeguards that banks implemented to combat the spate of phishing scams in 2022, such as lowering the default threshold for funds transfer transaction notifications to customers and increasing the frequency of its scam education alerts.

Scammers are constantly evolving their technology and operations. As banks continue to explore measures to protect customers, customers must remain vigilant against scammers.

DBS customers who suspect they are a victim of a scam can call the bank's dedicated fraud hotline at 1800-339-6963 (from Singapore) or (+65) 63396963 (from overseas) and speak to a DBS Customer Service Officer, or activate the Safety Switch to temporarily block access to their funds. DBS would assist those customers with necessary follow-up actions including replacing their cards and lodging the fraud report.

You are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:

ADD – ScamShield App to protect yourself from scam calls and SMSes. Set security features such as transaction limits for Internet banking transactions and enable multifactor authentication for banks and e-wallets).

CHECK – For scam signs with official sources such as the ScamShield WhatsApp bot @, call the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit Banks will never send you clickable links via SMS. Look out for tell-tale signs of a phishing website and never disclose your personal or banking credentials, including OTPs to anyone, even one claiming to be a bank officer.

TELL – authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.

If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial 999.