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Retiree Lost S$1M to Facebook Friend Scam in 15 Days!

Retiree Lost S1 Million to Facebook Friend Scam in 15 Days
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  1. A 65-year-old retiree in Singapore loses over a million dollars to a scammer in 15 days.
  2. The scammer posed as a CEO of an interior design firm based in Britain.
  3. Elderly scams are on the rise in Singapore, with losses amounting to S$334.5 million in the first half of the year.

The Straits Times reports on an alarming increase in scams involving senior citizens in Singapore.

An Unfortunate Story

Madam Tan, a Singaporean retiree, lost everything.

Her lifeline, a sum of over a million dollars, disappeared in just 15 days.

All because of a strange Facebook friend.

The Scam Setup

The new friend claimed to be a CEO of an interior design firm in Britain.

He needed help, he said.

He needed her to facilitate payments for his business.

He persuaded her with fake bank transfers and transfer statements.

How It Unfolded

Trusting her new friend, Madam Tan parted with at least S$20,000 each time.

In less than half a month, she had transferred a total of S$1,078,053.62.

She believed she was helping.

But she was being scammed.

The Discovery

One day, a call from Malaysia.

Her business partner, they said, had been detained at the airport.

Too much cash.

To clear the name, she needed to pay S$98,000.

But her son stepped in.

He sniffed out the scam.

Attempts to contact the alleged scammers led nowhere

The numbers were dead; the messaging app was inactive.

The Consequences

Madam Tan’s future is now uncertain.

Her 40 years of savings are gone.

She has incurred debts due to a bank loan.

She has filed two police reports.

The police and various banks are investigating.

The Larger Issue: Rising Scam Cases

Madam Tan’s case is not unique.

Scams targeting seniors in Singapore are increasing.

Statistics reveal 13,576 reported scam cases in the first half of 2023.

Loading s lost were S$334.5 million.

Avoiding Such Scams

Vigilance is crucial.

Be wary of unsolicited calls or emails.

Verify information before sharing personal details.

Keep passwords secure and updated.

Final Words

Scammers are clever.

But we can be wiser.

Let’s look out for our seniors.

After all, our small efforts can make huge differences.

Have you had any encounters with scams targeting the elderly?

Share your stories with us.

What do you think?

Written by Patrick Tan

Meet Patrick, the word wizard of Daily.SG! He whips up news about Singapore that's so simple, even toddlers give him a thumbs up. When he's not writing, you'll find him sipping milk tea, gliding on skates, or striking a yoga pose. Dive into his stories and feel the sprinkle of fun and a whole lot of heart!

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