DBS statement on card replacement

SINGAPORE, 23 February 2012 – Following the recent incident of unauthorised overseas ATM withdrawals, DBS intensified the development and rollout of a slew of additional security measures to guard against further occurrences of unauthorised withdrawals made overseas and also locally in Singapore.

Since mid-January 2012, measures taken to guard against unauthorised ATM withdrawals made overseas include:

  • Disabling overseas ATM usage for customers who have not used their cards outside Singapore since 1 July 2011. These customers can enable their cards for overseas usage at any DBS/POSB ATM and branch or by calling 1800-220-1111.
  • Sending SMS alerts for cards which have been enabled for overseas usage.
  • Sending SMS alerts for overseas ATM withdrawals which are above a certain threshold.
  • Disabling the overseas withdrawal function when suspicious activities are detected. Customers will receive an SMS alerting them to the disablement. Customers can contact the bank by calling 1800-220-1111 if they wish to re-enable their overseas usage function.
  • Sending SMS alerts to DBS/POSB Credit cardmembers for overseas ATM withdrawals or cash advances.

While the bank had successfully protected customers against unauthorised withdrawals made overseas, there remained the risk that fraudulent activity could also take place in Singapore.

To guard against unauthorised ATM withdrawals or transactions made locally in Singapore, DBS has also been systematically putting in place a slew of fraud prevention measures, including:

  • Sending SMS alerts for local ATM withdrawals which are above a certain threshold.
  • Sending SMS alerts to DBS/POSB Credit cardmembers for local cash advances above a certain threshold.
  • Sending SMS alerts to DBS/POSB ATM/Debit/Credit cardmembers for selective NETS withdrawals or NETS merchant purchases.

Since last month, DBS has also started a process of recarding ATM/ Debit cards in batches. 

Recarding is a prudent measure with the degree of skimming occurring in the region and globally, and cards are selected for replacement based on the bank’s review of usage and other security parameters.

On 19 February, Sunday night, DBS received calls from a handful of customers who were alerted to unauthorised ATM withdrawals in Singapore, after receiving real-time SMS alerts from the bank. This incident is not a result of any new skimming activity but a residual effect of the same card skimming operation that took place at the end of last year. DBS fully compensated all 17 affected customers a total of SGD 23,000 within 24 hours.  

DBS is working closely with the authorities on the investigation and confirms that over the past few days, there have been no unauthorised withdrawals made in Singapore. 

Based on the Sunday withdrawals, the DBS analytics team identified a further group of customers who were potentially at risk of fraudulent domestic withdrawals. To safeguard them against unauthorised ATM withdrawals, the bank proactively de-activated the cards of this group of customers, and took immediate steps to replace their cards.

These customers were also informed of the card de-activation on the same day and new ATM/Debit cards have since been issued to them.

The bank appreciates customers' understanding for the inconvenience caused as it moved to take prompt precautionary measures. 

DBS is monitoring the situation closely. In addition to sending out SMS alerts, the bank proactively contacts customers to validate ATM withdrawals, if and when any suspicious activity or unusual usage patterns are detected.

All DBS and POSB customers are encouraged to ensure that the bank has records of their current mobile phone contact details in order to facilitate the receipt of real-time SMS alerts, or other forms of customer communications.

Customers can also choose to lower their daily ATM cash withdrawal limit at any branch and the bank strongly encourages its customers to refresh their PINs on a frequent basis for added protection.

About DBS
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 200 branches across 15 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is a market leader in Singapore with over four million customers and also has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth, namely, Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's strong capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, earned it Global Finance's "Safest Bank in Asia" accolade for three consecutive years, in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

DBS provides the full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking activities across Asia and the Middle East. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS also understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. This market insight and regional connectivity have helped to drive the bank’s growth as it sets out to be the Asian bank of choice. The bank believes that building lasting relationships with its customers is an integral part of banking the Asian way.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 18,000 staff, representing over 30 nationalities. For more information, please visit

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