Thinking of hiring a cleaning service to spruce up your house for Christmas? Think twice before entering your credit card details for payment.
Otherwise, a $5 deposit fee might end up being $4,300, with zero cleaners in sight.
Cleaning Company Ad on Facebook, Asked for Credit Card Details
A few days ago, 47-year-old Ms Lu saw an advertisement for a cleaning company on Facebook.
Thinking that she doesn’t have time to clean her house recently, Lu decided to contact the company to hire a cleaner.
In the Facebook chat, the company asked for her phone number. A Malaysian number then WhatsApp-ed her, claiming to be from the company.
After settling on a $25, four-hour cleaning session, the company sent her a link so that she could pay a $5 deposit.
Wait, only $25 for four hours? That already sounds too good to be true…
The link brought her to a website, where she entered her credit card number, expiration date, cardholder’s name, verification code and other required information.
“But when I clicked submit, the site said ‘invalid card’,” said Ms Lu.
When she asked the company about it, they told her that she could just pay the cleaners in cash when they arrive, so she didn’t think much about it.
Exceeded Limit on Credit Card
The cleaners were supposed to arrive at 10am on 23 November. Instead of cleaners, all she got was a text message from her bank, informing her that her credit card usage has exceeded the limit.
Ms Lu said that she didn’t use the card to make any purchases recently, so she immediately called the bank… only to find out that someone had made three transfers of $1437.64 each to a Thai account.
The person also tried to make a fourth transfer, but failed since they already exceeded her credit card limit. This means she lost $4312.
Strangely enough, Ms Lu didn’t receive any text message asking her for a one-time password.
Ms Lu then realised that she must have gotten scammed by the cleaning company, and filed a police report immediately. She has also reported this to the bank, in hopes of getting the money back.
Cancelled Second Card
Ms Lu revealed that after the website told her that her card wasn’t valid, she tried another bank card with the same result.
Uh, I think the website is going to say ‘invalid card’ no matter how many cards you try…
Worrying that this might also happen to the other card, Ms Lu contacted the bank to cancel that bank card as well.
Warns Other To Be Careful
Since the end of the year is fast approaching, many might also want to hire a cleaning service online like Ms Lu.
She hopes that by sharing her story, she can remind everyone to be more vigilant, especially if the company requests you to transfer money in advance.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News