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Singaporean man lost S$6000 to 2-dollar ‘bak zhang’ scam

SINGAPORE — Singaporeans need to exercise caution when proceeding with online transactions, as multiple victims have recently fallen prey to online scammers with malicious intentions who attempt to gain access to their bank accounts.

These recent cases share a common pattern: scammers advertise enticingly cheap deals on social media, which sound too good to be true, in order to lure unsuspecting victims.

They then persuade the victims to download a suspicious app for the transaction, ultimately resulting in financial losses.

Last month, an unsuspecting Singaporean woman purchased Musang King durians online, never expecting that it would lead her to unknowingly download a third-party application as part of a scam. Consequently, S$50,000 was transferred out of her bank account.

On Monday (12 June), another Singaporean woman became the victim of a phishing scam, as reported by a local Chinese media outlet Shin Min Daily News. She lost S$20,000 to a scammer.

She came across a dim sum advertisement on Facebook, offering a packet of steamed spare ribs, glutinous rice chicken, or a packet of dumplings, each priced at only S$1.

she contacted the “seller”, and was told to download an app called “1stMallv6.0” and entered her personal information. To her shock, she later discovered that the money in her account had been transferred out.

Singaporean man lost S$6000 to 2-dollar ‘bak chang’ scam

As the Dragon Boat Festival approaches, a 43-year-old Singaporean also fell victim to a scam involving 2-dollar ‘bak zhang’ (meat dumplings).

According to Shin Min Daily News, Mr. Lin, a Singaporean, revealed that he came across a Facebook advertisement last Monday evening promoting a sale on 2-dollar ‘bak zhang’.

He contacted the ‘seller’ with the intention of purchasing 15 meat dumplings. The seller suggested using WhatsApp for more convenient communication and later sent a link to place the order.

Following the instructions, Mr. Lin clicked on the link, which automatically downloaded the application to his phone.

“We communicated throughout the process via WhatsApp. I followed the instructions step by step, downloaded the application, set up an account and password, placed the order for the meat dumplings, and even received a $10 discount. “

“The payment was to be made upon delivery. Later, the application asked me to enter my bank account details.”

At that moment, he felt that entering his bank information was somewhat inappropriate.

He expressed his concerns to the seller, who advised him to add the order to the shopping cart and then enter his home address and contact number.

However, the next day (13th June), he discovered that his WhatsApp phone number had been changed. He also received a notification from the bank stating that around S$6,000 had been transferred out of his account in the early hours of the morning.

“My colleague called me through WhatsApp while I was present, but my phone didn’t ring. When I called my colleague back, a different number appeared, but the profile picture was the same.”

Unable to log into Internet banking (iBanking), Mr. Lin contacted the bank for inquiries and learned that someone had made multiple unsuccessful login attempts, resulting in his account being temporarily blocked.

Realizing that he had fallen victim to a scam, Mr. Lin immediately filed a police report. The police confirmed the scam incident, and the investigation is still ongoing.

The police remind members of the public of the dangers of downloading applications from third-party or dubious sites that can lead to malware being installed on victims’ mobile phones, computers, and other Information Communications Technology (ICT) devices.

To ensure a safe and secure experience, individuals interested in downloading the ScamShield App on their Android devices are advised to consult the official setup guide available at https://www.scamshield.org.sg/setup-guide/.


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