S’pore Durian Seller Offers S$5,378 Worth of Durians to Victim Who Lost S$54K in Durian Scam


Durian, the pungent yet delicious fruit, can be a divisive topic amongst foodies. Or between locals and foreigners.

Of late, durian has become the new thing which scammers use to hunt for their prey. Scams, in general, have also been on the rise in Singapore, which has sparked the government to propose a new bill which would target online crimes, including scams.

One woman recently lost her life savings to a durian scam. Luckily for her, a local durian seller is willing to give her back some of her money (out of goodwill) in the form of durian.

Here’s what happened.

Woman Lost $54K to Durian Scam

Earlier this month, a 50-year-old homemaker saw an ad for ridiculously cheap Mao Shan Wang durian (literally translated to Cat Mountain King) and ended up being scammed of her life savings.

Ms Xu (Hanyu pinyin) told Shin Min reporters that the durian advertisement she saw offered one kg of Mao Shan Wang durian for $6. One kg of D24 was advertised at $3.

As she was craving durians, Ms Xu engaged with the seller on how to place an order as well as delivery details. The counterparty asked for her contact details and said that a representative would contact her to follow up with details.


Then, a man who had a Malaysian accent contacted Ms Xu and asked her to instal an app called “E2 Mall” and sign up for a membership using her personal details. This man claimed that he would deliver the durians for her.

Ms Xu obediently followed the man’s instructions and made the payment online. She even went to the bank to get the bank token password for her account and provided her bank details to the scammer.

Unfortunately, these were all steps for Ms Xu to fall into the durian scammer’s trap.

The next day, Ms Xu wanted to use Paynow to purchase some food, but when she logged into the bank account, she realised that over $50,000 was missing from her account.


Only a mere $7 remained as the balance.

Shocked out of her wits, Ms Xu immediately called the police and the bank to report the incident, but it was too late by then.

The scammers had transferred her life savings out of her account in two transfers. One transfer was for $27,549, and the other transfer was for $26,231.

The police are currently investigating the case.

Ms Xu further shared that she suspects that others remotely controlled her phone as it heated up and lagged while the money was being transferred away.

The scammers’ WhatsApp and Facebook accounts no longer exist, so Ms Xu is no longer able to contact them.

As Ms Xu was afraid that her contacts would also be compromised, she decided to change her phone and get a new number. The new phone cost her $238.

To completely rid herself of any trace of the scammers, Ms Xu also chose to wipe out her old phone, abandon her Facebook account and move over to the new phone.

She expressed her deep regret for not being careful and said that this was the most expensive durian she had ever bought in her life.

How optimistic, given that there was actually no durian delivered to her.


Because of this incident, she felt turned off by durian and no longer wished to eat it.

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Local Durian Seller Offering Woman $5K Worth of Durian for Free

While a tragedy has befallen Ms Xu, an act of kindness was also extended to her.

Local durian seller 99 Old Trees has stepped into the picture.

Not as a scammer, but instead to offer Ms Xu some durian. $5,378 worth of durians, to be exact. And in the Mao Shan Wang species.

The director of 99 Old Trees, Mr Kelvin Tan, addressed 8days.sg and said that he had connected with Ms Koh to convey his durian offer.

The offer is currently being discussed between Ms Xu and her husband.


If you’re wondering how many durians you can get with $5k, the answer is roughly 200 kg of durians. This is enough to feed about 100 people, according to Mr Tan.

Mr Tan shared his motivations for extending the offer. It was to spread goodwill as a durian merchant. He said that the durian industry is rampant with poor reviews, given that some durian sellers are dishonest while others capitalise on durians to carry out their scams.

He hopes to clear the bad name of durian vendors and show that there are honest individuals in the industry.

We’re also certain that this is a publicity stunt to put the name of 99 Old Trees out there and build goodwill with potential customers who know that this is a brand that they can trust when buying durians.

What a killing of two birds with one stone.


When probed on why he did not offer Ms Xu cash but offered durians, Mr Tan answered that he thought durians would make up for the deal that Ms Xu was looking for. She could also share or sell the durians with family and friends.

While this may not restore the lost money, hopefully, it helps to assuage some of the heartaches from Ms Xu’s lost money.

If you’re craving durian this durian season, make sure that you check and double-check that you are buying from a legitimate seller. As the Singapore Police Force says, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We’re taking those words to heart.

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