S'pore woman, 59, loses S$7,430 after trying to buy S$8 crispy crab rolls

Another case.

Belmont Lay | July 31, 2023, 12:36 PM



A 59-year-old woman got scammed more than S$7,000 after trying to buy S$8 crab rolls.

The woman, surnamed Li (transliteration), told Shin Min Daily News that she came across a Facebook advertisement on June 1 for "crispy crab rolls".

She proceeded to contact the seller on WhatsApp.

The victim, who is a hawker, said she wanted to buy 10 boxes of the food for her family.

She was convinced at the time that this was not a scam.

Her reasoning was that she was aware of how much food is priced, and the S$8 price tag per box was not cheap.

The credulous offer turned out to be the perfect bait.

Li said: "I'm in the food and beverage line and I know that scams often involve selling food too cheap. So I didn't suspect the seller as I saw that there was not sale for the crab rolls it was a cash on delivery order."

How scam was carried out

After contact was made with the seller, the order was supposedly confirmed.

The seller than sent another link to download an app and to pay a S$5 deposit.

Without thinking too much, Li clicked the link.

The link took her to a bank payment page requesting for her credit card details.

As she was keying in the details, she became aware about scams stemming from third-party applications.

She stopped what she was doing immediately.

According to Li, the screen kept showing her that the payment was "processing", but she did not key in further details.

She said she found the process too cumbersome and did not complete her transaction.

However, the woman's phone apparently stopped functioning properly after that and appeared to have been "downloading something".

Received calls

Li then received a call from the seller who told her to check her bank account statements for two unknown transactions.

The seller also subsequently called her hourly to inform her about the issue.

But Li could not even log into her bank app after she opened it.

Li also said she got a call from a woman who claimed to be a bank employee who asked for her personal details.

The next day, Li found out via an email notification that S$7,430.20 had been successfully transferred from her account.

Her transfer limit had also been raised to S$10,000.

She made a police report on June 2.

Li said she had more than S$60,000 in her account previously, but she had already transferred the money out to a joint account she shares with her son.

Money to be donated

Li said the money she lost included her salary, as well as S$5,000 in donations collected for a nursing home charity in Thailand.

She has since informed her friends about the scam and that she would bear the losses.

But she has yet to inform her family about the incident.

She told Shin Min she has remained vigilant against scams after losing a few hundred dollars years ago trying to buy a rice cooker online, but yet still fell for another scam.

Top photo via Shin Min Daily News