A scammer in Singapore posed as someone's friend and tried to trick them into transferring him S$4,800 via the POSB app.
He ended up reducing the amount to $1,000 when the person declined.
The target, who grew suspicious of the strange interaction, disclosed the incident on the Facebook group Complaint Singapore via an enigmatic account named Kenzo Yoshimura.
A request from "Mr Sim"
In a post on Dec. 29, Yoshimura stated that they'd received a call from an unsaved number.
"I [could] actually recognise his voice," said Yoshimura, explaining that the stranger's voice resembled that of their friend, whom they referred to as "Mr Sim".
The pseudo Sim claimed that he'd acquired a new number of late.
"Sim" texted Yoshimura via WhatsApp on the morning of Dec. 29, asking for instructions on how to change his contact number in the POSB app, so that he could access his PayNow services.
Yoshimura proceeded to guide the man on how to update his number on the app, suggesting that he try going into his contact details and PayNow profile.
The man said that he would "try" to do so.
Around noon, "Sim" once again called Yoshimura.
He said that he had been locked out of his account on the banking app as he had failed to answer his two security questions correctly.
"Sim" apparently needed to transfer some funds to someone called "Jason", but was only free to visit a POSB counter at 3pm to unlock his account.
He asked Yoshimura to help him transfer S$4,800 via PayNow to "Jason".
He would reimburse Yoshimura the sum of money by 3pm that day, he promised.
"I [don't have] enough funds in my back account... I am waiting for my pay too," Yoshimura fibbed to the man.
It was clear to them by now that something fishy was going on.
An hour later, the scammer shot his second shot, this time appearing to give his target a discount.
He claimed that another friend had helped fork out S$3,800, meaning Yoshimura need "only" pay him S$1,000.
In the screenshots provided by Yoshimura, they implied that they'd eventually sent over the money later on.
But their Facebook post revealed that it was an act, and that they "didn't follow [the scammer's] instruction".
When prompted to show a "receipt" of payment by the scammer, they stalled by asking the scammer to "wait a while" for the transfer to be processed and reflected in "Jason's" bank account.
"I check[ed] with my friend, the real Mr Sim, he said that [the unknown] number [did] not belong to him. He never [requested] such [a] transfer," wrote Yoshimura, who added that they lodged a police report against the scammer.
The gig was up.
Others experienced same scam
Commenters on the post shared that they too had been the targets of other scammers.
According to the Singapore Police Force (SPF), over 22,339 scam cases were reported in the first half of 2023, a 64.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2022.
Those who fell victim to these reported cases lost S$334.5 million.
Some of the most common types of scams included job scams, e-commerce scams, fake friend call scams, phishing scams, and investment scams.
The police urged the public to remain vigilant.
Top images via Kenzo Yoshimura/Facebook