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S’pore Woman Loses Over S$76,000 After Downloading App To Buy Durian Mooncakes

Woman Loses Over S$76,000 After Attempting To Buy 2 Boxes Of Durian Mooncakes

Scams have become all too frequent these days, tricking the vulnerable into losing thousands of hard-earned dollars.

As a result, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has had to issue an advisory urging citizens to remain aware of online ad scams.

Unfortunately, yet another case has emerged: a woman trying to buy durian mooncakes got scammed after coming across a Facebook advertisement.

As a result, she lost over S$76,000 — money she wanted to spend on a BTO unit.

Woman tries to buy durian mooncakes after seeing Facebook advertisement

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Ms Li, 51, said she came across an ad for mooncakes from ‘Sunshine Cake House’ on Facebook on 14 Sep.

The advertisement offered a sale of eight Musang King snowskin mooncakes for just S$29.90, with the original price of S$56.90.

She shared that her son had hoped to buy mooncakes for his clients. As such, she wanted to buy two boxes with the intention of recommending the brand to him if she liked it.

After clicking on the link attached to the advertisement to contact the eatery, she received another link.

The seller asked her to click it to download an app, where she needed to fill in her shipping address. In addition, she was supposed to pay S$1 to confirm the order.

Aware of the current prevalence of scams, Ms Li worried that sudden transactions would be made without her knowledge.

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She thus lied and said she didn’t use PayNow, causing the seller to assure her that they would help her pay first.

Loses over S$76,000 due to scam

Ms Li proceeded to click the link and download the app. At the time, she could still use her mobile phone normally.

She even checked her bank account before going to bed at 10pm that night and noticed that all her savings were intact.

However, she could not log into the account the morning after and rushed to a nearby ATM to check her balance.

To her horror, she realised that S$76,538 had been transferred in four separate transactions.

Ms Li explained that she planned to use S$50,000 as a downpayment for a BTO unit. The rest was for renovation.

“After the money was transferred, I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Believes banks should shoulder responsibility

During this period, Ms Li didn’t receive a single email or notification via text from the bank either.

Even if the scammer could intercept and delete such texts, she pointed out that the bank could still send email notifications. This was because she had enabled email and text notifications for any transaction.

Instead, Ms Li had to find out what happened herself, without any intervention from the bank.

She acknowledged that some of the blame for the incident fell on her.

However, Ms Li also believed that the bank should shoulder part of the responsibility for not detecting the unusual transactions in time.

Responding to Shin Min Daily News’ queries, police confirmed receiving the report. In addition, they said that an investigation into the matter was ongoing.

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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News.

Sudeshna Dhar

Sudeshna is a lover of all romcoms, especially Gone Girl (2014).

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