With scammers being increasingly creative with their techniques, people must be all the more vigilant when providing personal information on any platform.
Not long ago, police released an advisory regarding a scam involving a man who purchased otah from Facebook and got his bank account compromised.
Well, it seems like a variation of this phishing scam has made its way to popular social media site Instagram as well.
Recently, a woman in Singapore purchased S$2 dim sum on the platform, only to discover her card limit raised to S$20,000 the following day.
Thankfully, her husband managed to intervene in time and they did not suffer any monetary loss.
According to Shin Min Daily News, 57-year-old Mrs He (name transliterated from Mandarin) chanced upon a dim sum advertisement on Instagram.
A shop known as ‘Mcy Frozen Food’ was offering a packet of 12 shumai, five glutinous chicken rice and 300g of steamed pork ribs at just S$2 each.
Attracted by the low price, she reached out to the seller via Instagram.
She then received a link which took her to a WhatsApp chat with the ‘seller’.
The ‘seller’ sent her another link to download an application, called ‘1stMallv1.2’. They asked her to make her order through the said app.
After following the instructions, however, Mrs He found herself facing repeated errors when trying to submit her personal information for payment.
Little did she know, this was simply a facade for scammers to obtain her information. Her bank account was compromised the next day.
Shin Min Daily News reported that her husband, 63-year-old Mr He, received an email from the bank the following day, informing him that his wife had put in a request to raise their account’s daily limit to S$20,000 at 6am in the morning.
This was up from the original limit of S$1,000.
The notification set alarm bells ringing for Mr He, who immediately called his wife to get some clarity. It then dawned on them that the app Mrs He installed was probably infected with malware.
Mr He immediately called the bank to freeze their account.
Thankfully, there is a 12-hour period before changes in account limit are implemented, so the scammers did not manage to get away with any money.
Nevertheless, the couple had a very close shave, as Mr He realised what happened only at 5.30pm, a mere 30 minutes before the implementation time.
He told Shin Min Daily News,
We felt very scared, as this was all our hard-earned money, if it was really all stolen, the consequences would have been dire.
He added that bank staff shared that there are several such scam cases daily.
Acting on the advice of the bank staff, the couple also lodged a police report. Investigations into the case are currently ongoing.
That said, it is not worth it to risk falling victim to such scams for some petty savings.
Please make sure to conduct due checks to verify that businesses are legitimate before buying from them.
Most importantly, remember to exercise due caution before sharing your personal information with any party.
We’re glad that Mr and Mrs He managed to save themselves in time. Hopefully, they’ll be more careful moving forward.
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