Single mum with special-needs son scammed of $40k from 4 bank accounts after buying $12 soursop juice online

Single mum with special-needs son scammed of $40k from 4 bank accounts after buying $12 soursop juice online
PHOTO: Pixabay

The package might have been a steal, but she was the eventual victim.

The Facebook advertisement had seemed like a good deal — 30 packets of soursop juice for $12.

But not only did Huang (not her real name) not receive the products, she later found out that her four bank accounts with amounts totalling over $40,000 were cleared out by scammers.

Speaking to radio station Capital 958 recently, the 60-year-old single mum recounted the incident which occurred on June 22 this year.

Huang, a cancer survivor, had heard about the purported cancer-fighting properties of soursop, so her interest was piqued immediately when she chanced upon the advertisement online.

Upon contacting the seller via WhatsApp, the latter claimed to be operating his family business from Muar in Malaysia. He then requested that Huang transfer $5 for 'shipping'.

As Huang was wary of online payments, she declined, requesting for cash payment on delivery instead.

The seller readily agreed, but swiftly recommended that she download a 'Grab and Go' mobile app so that she could view other products that his shop was selling.

Huang was lulled into a false sense of security after she downloaded the app and saw that there were other foodstuff such as roast duck, braised ducks and otah on offer as promised.

Huang, who professed to be a frequent online shopper, said she was aware of the many ruses of online scammers from reading the news and thought she was safe by not going through with the online payment.

Suspicions raised once

Huang added that the seller had called her twice, speaking to her for about an hour in total, reported 8World.

Their conversation, however, raised the suspicions of her brother, who was a guest at her home at the time.

He went to the ATM to help check her bank accounts following the calls, but nothing was amiss at the time.

Two days later, however, Huang received a call from a DBS bank employee.

"They told me that the more than $40,000 from my four bank accounts were transferred out," Huang told Capital 958. "When I heard this, I panicked."

Huang was disbelieving at first but eventually lodged a police report.


She added that the accounts included joint bank accounts with her son, as well as with her aged mum, who's in her 80s.

Huang shared that she has been raising her special needs son who has autism and ADHD alone since her divorce 30 years ago. At the time of the incident, she'd just received a mid-year bonus and had thought about bringing her son to Taiwan for a holiday.

"I really felt like dying, I didn't know how to break the news to my mum. But the thought that I still have to look after this family gave me strength," said Huang, whose friends offered her encouragement and financial help.

"But I'm still working and can support myself, so I rejected them," said Huang, who earns less than $2,000 a month, 8World reported.

Huang stated that shortly after the discovery that her accounts had been emptied, a sum of money suddenly appeared in one of the accounts.

"The police told me the amount is from another scam victim, so I didn't dare to touch it. It was later returned to the victim," she shared.

Huang blames herself for not detecting the ruse, as the scammer's number had the "+65" country code but yet he claimed to be based in Muar. 

She believes that her savings are as good as gone and holds little hope of getting it back.

ALSO READ: 'I went into a state of shock': Family loses $150k life savings after trying to purchase eggs on Facebook

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