Skimmers Milk Almost US$ 400,000 From Singapore Bank

DBS Bank lost around US$ 386,667 (S$ 500,000) to ATM skimmers from 4 to 5 January, 2012. Vigilant account holders informed the bank of unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts. DBS officials identified 400 affected customers and in a Friday press conference, the officials announced compensation for all affected customers and full disclosure on investigation findings.

Skimmers Milk Almost US$400,000 From Singapore Bank

A typical DBS Bank ATM

Bank officials identified two ATM machines in the Bugis shopping district as the source of the stolen ATM and debit card accounts. Skimmers collected account numbers and PINs of more than 2,700 customers over three days in November 2011, and then withdrew the money in neighbouring Malaysia. All DBS ATM machines are equipped with anti-skimming devices, and security staff regularly check the machines when replenishing the cash, but the culprits managed to circumvent the security system. The bank contacted all affected customers, deactivated their cards and sent out replacement cards.

Bank personnel replaced the anti-skimming devices on the two ATM machines and cleared the machines for continued use, finding no indications that they are still being compromised.

DBS has suffered from technical difficulties affecting customers in October 2009 and July 2010. An “isolated technical glitch” in 2009 prevented customers from updating their passbooks and withdrawing over S$ 2,000.  The bank resolved the problem in three hours. A seven-hour back-end problem in 2010 prevented customers from using ATMs and accessing their accounts online. DBS worked with their back-end vendor IBM to resolve the matter and resume services.