S'pore housewife orders S$2 dim sum deals on Instagram, finds bank credit limit raised to S$200,000

Police investigations are ongoing.

Daniel Seow | June 09, 2023, 05:44 PM

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A housewife in Singapore thought she was buying some value-for-money dim sum via Instagram, only to find out the next day that she nearly got scammed of her life savings.

He (transliteration), 57, told Shin Min Daily News that she came across the attractive deals in an advertisement by "MCY Frozen Food" on Instagram, on Jun. 4.

It advertised dim sum deals such as a pack of 12 siew mai, five packs of glutinous rice with chicken, or 300g of steamed pork ribs, for only S$2 each.

Downloaded external app, which kept 'malfunctioning'

Enticed by the cheap prices, He reached out to the seller via Instagram, and was redirected into a WhatsApp chat.

The other party then provided her a link to download an external mobile phone application to place the order, He shared.

The woman complied, downloading an app called "1stMallv1.2", and keyed in her personal information.

However, He said the app kept malfunctioning, preventing her from completing the payment.

On hindsight, He admitted to Shin Min that this was suspicious, as it could have provided the window for the scammers to acquire her personal information.

Due to the delays, she planned to continue the payment process at a later time.

Hubby received email from bank

However, as it turned out, the deals were indeed too good to be true.

The next day, He's husband received an email from their bank, informing him that someone claiming to be his wife had raised the monthly credit limit of their account from S$10,000 to S$200,000.

The suspicious request had been made earlier that morning, at 6am, but required 12 hours to be processed.

Alarm bells started ringing, and He's husband immediately clarified the matter with her.

Suspecting that her personal details had been compromised due to malware downloaded on her phone, he immediately called the bank to freeze their bank accounts.

This was not a moment too soon -- as He's husband only discovered the matter at about 5.30pm, just before the request might have been approved.

"If it was any later, all our money could have been stolen by the scammers," he shared with Shin Min.

'Don't be fooled by cheap deals'

He's husband said bank staff informed them that such scams were common, and advised them to lodge a police report.

Additionally, he revealed that it was a "terrifying" experience, and would have been "disastrous" if the scammers really managed to rob them of all their hard-earned money.

"I hope that others can learn from our example, and not be fooled just because of a cheap deal," he added.

In response to Mothership's queries, the police confirmed that a report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.

Top image from Shin Min Daily News / Eduardo Soares on Unsplash.