I‘m a brave man, but even I have three mortal fears:
My mum, the monster hiding under my bed and transferring money to the wrong account.
But do you know what’s even worse?
Transferring a large sum of money to the wrong account and being unable to retrieve it.
But if you thought that’s just the stuff of nightmares, think again. An associate professor recently found himself stuck in that exact scenario…
And suffice it to say that it wasn’t a fun experience. At all.
Mr Xu, 38, an associate professor at the Faculty of Science in the National University of Singapore, told Lianhe Wanbao that he had bought a Hyundai Elantra worth more than $80,000 from an automobile dealer, Komoco Motors, in August last year (2017).
As part of the transaction, he had to deposit a substantial amount of $12,690 either via cheque or a bank transfer. Opting to transfer, he went about the usual i-Banking routine when he accidentally chose the wrong account.
“While I was choosing the account for the transfer, I accidentally selected the account of the travel agency, which also started with the letter ‘K’.
“Actually I helped a friend to transfer money to this agency a few years ago. I must have forgotten to delete the account later.”
But you know what makes things even worse? The fact that he didn’t realise anything was amiss. Having sent a screenshot of the transaction to the automobile dealer in question, he only realised his mistake when the dealer called him five days later about it.
“I immediately called the police and also attempted to contact the owner of the account to ask for my money back. It has almost been 10 months but I have not gotten anything back.”
Following the mix-up, Mr Xu visited the travel agency (situated) at People’s Park Complex only to realise that it had already closed down.
Fortunately, he managed to procure the number of the agency owner from some nearby shop, but he was then told that the owner was facing “financial difficulties”.
And after scouting around, some shopkeepers reportedly told him that others would show up at the travel agency to find the owner.
Coincidence? I think not.
There’s no escaping the long arm of Justice… hopefully
Mr Xu reportedly tried contacting the owner repeatedly, but it didn’t work out. When he finally managed to locate the owner (through his friend no less), the latter expressed that he did not notice any money transferred into his account.
Later on, the owner claimed that he needed “approval from a business partner to transfer money from the account”, and there have been zero developments since then.
It’s his own fault
You might exclaim. Hey, he screwed up, so it’s karma. Hahahaha.
But here’s the thing: Mr Xu acknowledged that it was his mistake initially; and that the sum is substantial and he hopes to recover it. And as far as I’m concerned, someone who actually realises his mistake definitely scores a plus point in the ‘sympathy’ department.
Not that he will appreciate the sympathy really. Think he will appreciate his money back more.
Thankfully, Mr Xu’s case might not yet be hopeless, as the police have confirmed that investigations are currently ongoing.
Moral of the story
Make sure you double check the account you’re transferring to. Because honestly…
You might get a whole load more trouble than you asked for.
What to do when we transfer to the wrong account
Seeing that this is a common occurrence (though unfortunately, no one has transfer any moolah to me. YET), here’s an article that touches on this subject, which I’ve helpfully listed them down in point form ‘coz I’m good like that:
- Person who receive the cash and know that it’s a mistake could be committing a crime as it’s considered “wrongful retention of money” (I take back my words: don’t transfer moolah to me)
- Most people who transferred wrongly got back their money
- They’ll have to inform the bank immediately
- If still die-die cannot receive back the money, the police can be involved to “resolve the issue of wrongful retention”
So, yeah. There’s no free (money) transfer in this world unless you’re a football player.
Now you know what Singaporeans are talking about today; do check back tomorrow for another piece of news of the day!