I stop scams at the Police Anti-Scam centre

“When you manage to convince someone who’s being scammed to stop transferring their hard-earned money — there’s nothing quite as satisfying or fulfilling.

I am part of the Anti-Scam Team at DBS and am currently stationed at the police Anti-Scam Centre, where I work closely with my counterparts to stop scams.

I joined the bank as part of the Investigations team in 2019 and was a pioneering member of the newly-established DBS Anti-Scam Team in 2020.

The team managed monitoring and detection and would contact customers to verify any suspicious transactions.

Sometimes, customers insist they are transferring all their money out of their own accord, but in fact, they have been convinced to do so by scammers. We know because we recognise the different tell-tale signs. So we have to convince them otherwise.

Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes an hour. Sometimes customers, understandably, get impatient with us — They ask, “Why do you need to check? This is my own money.”

Thanks to our boss, we have all picked up ways to speak with customers, calm them down, and get the information we need.

Since 2019, the modus operandi of scams has changed a lot — from simple official impersonation scams to job scams, love scams and so on.

Being stationed at the police Anti-Scam Centre is definitely helpful as communication between the bank and the police is faster, and we can even more quickly freeze compromised accounts.

Has my job made me a less trusting person? Not really … but I am more critical now. I don’t take things at face value, and I’ve trained myself to keep questioning.

The number one tip I have for people — don’t ever reveal your personal or sensitive information, like OTP. That’s where it all starts. And if someone comes to you offering you “free money”, there must be a catch to it. Start asking questions.

To be honest, I never expected to be in a role like this — or that such a role even existed — when I graduated with a banking and finance degree in 2018. I consider myself blessed to be here. It’s a challenging role but there’s this sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, and I won’t trade it for anything else.”

- Yaznisham Yazid, member of the DBS Anti-Scam Team