SINGAPORE – When a housewife in her 50s demanded to close insurance policies worth some $200,000 in October last year, OCBC Bank staff who attended to her suspected that she was involved in a scam.
This is because it did not make financial sense to prematurely dissolve the insurance policies, said Jurong Point OCBC branch manager Leong Wen Xian, 34, who investigated the claim.
The woman’s bank transactions revealed that she had already transferred up to $40,000 of her life savings to suspicious overseas accounts. She later revealed that the accounts belonged to users who claimed to be “officials from China”.
They told her she was being probed for spreading fake claims about Covid-19 and warned her not to tell anyone about the investigation. She was ordered to hand over her banking and personal details, Mr Leong recalled.
He said: “The woman was in disbelief when she found out that this was a lie. She tried to hide (her situation) from the bank staff and spoke so confidently about making this transaction, unlike normal scam victims who show up looking nervous.
“Our customers are often normal people who have worked many years to save for their livelihoods. This would have been a huge loss.”
Mr Leong and his colleague, Ms Sara Lee, who was also involved in this case, were among 120 individuals and companies awarded by the police for thwarting scams.
The Community Partnership Award (CPA) ceremony was held at the police headquarters at New Phoenix Park on Thursday (April…