S'pore woman mistakenly transfers S$2,888 savings to flower shop, shop denies it happened

Oh no.

Daniel Seow | February 12, 2023, 03:53 PM

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A 54-year-old woman in Singapore transferred S$2,888 of her salary to a flower shop by mistake, and her attempts to get the money back so far have been unsuccessful.

The woman, surnamed Huang (in Hanyu Pinyin) said that she has a habit of transferring her salary to a separate savings account.

In a report by Shinmin Daily News (Shinmin) on Feb. 10, Huang explained she did this to prevent herself from overspending.

On Jan. 18, she did the bank transfer as usual but realised afterwards that she had mistakenly keyed in the wrong bank account number.

"It was around 7am in the morning, and I was in the living room keying in the bank transfer. I didn't switch on the lights. When I found out that I had transferred S$2,888 to a stranger's bank account, I immediately told my son about it." she told Shinmin.

Later that day, she contacted the bank. However, she was apparently told that she had to wait a week for the bank to process her case.

The bank said they would attempt to contact the other party, but it could take up to three weeks before she can get her money back.

Huang initially didn't know the recipient as the bank account details did not include the person's name.

However, after she shared her grievances with a friend on Jan. 28, her friend managed to track down the identity of the recipient.

Huang found out that the account belonged to a flower shop where she had bought a wreath previously. The last time she contacted them was in November 2021.

Flower shop denied receiving money

According to Shinmin, Huang claimed that no one picked up her calls when she called the flower shop.

Huang even sent them a message to explain the accidental transfer, expressing her hope that the money could be returned.

The flower shop allegedly denied receiving the money. Someone from the shop also replied that Huang had contacted a wrong number.

"I sent her a screenshot of the bank transfer, but the person merely read my messages without replying to them. I tried calling them again, but this time my call couldn't get through," Huang said.

Huang's messages were read, but not replied to - via Shin Min.

Huang admitted helplessly that to this day, she doesn't know if she will ever get her money back.

She hopes that the flower shop or the owner of the number will take the initiative to contact her upon seeing the newspaper article.

Also, she hopes that by sharing her experience, it will serve as a reminder for the public to check the recipient details carefully before making a bank transfer.

Lawyer: If the money is not returned, it could constitute theft

A lawyer interviewed by Shinmin pointed out that if the other party does not return the wrongly transferred sum, the affected party can bring this case up to the Civil Court or Criminal Court.

The lawyer also pointed out that similar victims should first confirm with the bank that the sum of money has been transferred into the other party's bank account.

Upon confirmation of the successful transfer, the responsibility is on the other party to return the sum of money. If not, they may have violated the law.

He also said that if the other party insists on not returning the money, this could constitute theft.

The affected party can either make a police report or start a civil lawsuit against the other party to get the money back.

Bank issued letters to the boutique, yet to receive a reply

Huang recently contacted her bank again to check on the progress of her case.

The bank told her they had already sent two letters addressed to the bank account holder requesting for the other party to return the money.

However, they have yet to receive a reply.

Huang shared that she requires a letter of proof to be issued by the bank before the police can investigate.

As of now, she is awaiting further directions from the bank.

Top image via Shinmin Daily News and Unsplash.