Forum: Scammed of $100,000, but fault is not mine alone

I am Siti, a mother of seven wonderful children. A wife to a caring educator. And a victim of the recent scam targeting OCBC Bank customers.

On Dec 28 last year, at 11.47am, I received an SMS which looked very much like the other ones I have received from the OCBC SMS system, which read: "The transaction function of your OCBC account will be suspended. To prevent the account from being locked out, update it on December 28. Access bit.ly/3q****."

At that time, I was occupied with my children and did not act upon it. At 2pm, I reread the SMS and followed the instructions and clicked on the link. It brought me to an authentic-looking site with the OCBC name.

As I was anxious about the account being suspended and I had some transactions to make to my children's accounts later in the day, I did not think further, and keyed in my username and password and other relevant details and checked into my account.

A few moments later, I received a notification stating that my transfer limit had been increased to $100,000. When I noticed that, I immediately called OCBC as I had not approved this.

However, OCBC's hotline is not equipped to immediately handle scams which are in progress.

I had to navigate an automated system for a long time before reaching a person.

By this wasted time, I had already received multiple notifications stating that monies were transferred out of my savings accounts and six of my children's savings accounts.

In just a few minutes, almost $100,000 was gone.

We have since made a police report but we have been told that even though accounts are insured by up to $50,000, we are unlikely to have any of our funds returned to us as it was my mistake for clicking on the link.

How can the blame be pinned entirely on me when OCBC's scam prevention measures are poorly equipped to urgently deal with a case as it is happening?

Siti Raudhah Mohd Ali

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