Woman Loses Over $20K After She Downloaded a Fake Food Delivery App

Last Updated on 2023-08-29 , 11:02 am

Christmas might be months away, but for scammers in Singapore, taking Singaporeans on sleigh rides is a year-round affair.

Yet another woman has fallen victim to a third-party app scam and lost over $20K.

Woman Loses Over $20K After Downloading Fake Food Delivery App

It all started when the 54-year-old was looking for healthy tingkat meal options for her elderly parents.

Shopee, of course, isn’t an option. And until the day SHEIN decides to sell food on their platform, most would head to Facebook to look for such deals.

And head to Facebook; the woman did.

After coming across a Facebook advertisement from a company called Healthy Box, she decided to contact OP via Facebook Messenger to inquire further before moving the conversation to WhatsApp

It was represented to her that Healthy Box is the local caterer, Grain. With her suspicions eased, the woman decided to purchase $58 worth of food from the scammer.

This was where things started to get suspicious—the scammer sent her a link to install a third-party app that looked precisely like Grain’s website.

Of course, it was not Grain’s website lah. But this is far from the end of the story.

When the 54-year-old woman tried to transfer $58 via PayNow to the scammer, she realised she couldn’t. Apparently, the scammer did not have PayNow installed.

Living under a rock ah? How can don’t have PayNow in this day and age?

Regardless, she informed the scammer that she could not transfer the $58 via PayNow. Yet, the woman received no reply.

More than an hour later, the 54-year-old suddenly realised her phone was burning up—something was wrong.

She just didn’t know how “wrong” everything was about to go.

Initially, the woman unlocked her phone and saw the classic “white screen of death”. The solution? She reset the phone and let it be.

Only later in the evening, when she wanted to withdraw money, did she finally realise that she had lost over $20K for some reason.

Credit Limits Limited; Bank Balance at Zero

How it happened was this: by installing the fake food delivery app on her phone, the woman also introduced malware onto her phone.

This enabled the scammer to take control of the 54-year-old’s phone remotely and do whatever they wanted, including messing with her banking apps.

Her credit limit was lifted, and $20,493.87 was transferred out of the 54-year-old’s account. Her bank balance was left at zero.

Not the First Time Such a Scam Has Happened

It’s the same old story for many other scam victims; this is far from the first time scammers have deployed this strategy.

The moral of the story? Don’t sui bian install third-party apps, otherwise known as sideloaded apps, on your phones.

This usually wouldn’t be a problem for Apple users, given that you’re literally “banned” from installing sideloaded apps. However, it is a prevalent issue among Android users due to the ease of installing sideloaded apps, such as Douyin, on Android phones.

Thanks to the high risks of mobile users falling victim to scams by installing such third-party malware thoughtlessly, banks have reinforced security features to support the fight against such scams.

It’s why OCBC doesn’t allow you to use its banking app when you have sideloaded apps installed on your phone—you’ll have to delete these apps to use the OCBC app.

Douyin or OCBC? Your choice.

“Security measures will come with some measure of added inconvenience for customers, but they are necessary to maintain security of and confidence in digital banking,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore added.

If you’d like to find out more about these types of scams so you can avoid them, you can watch this video here:

Alternatively, use the Goody Feed Blue Cats’ strategy lah: spend all your money on ngoh hiang so there is nothing for scammers to transfer out of your bank account.