S’pore man, 23, who doesn’t read news much & stays home to play mobile games, loses more than S$4,000 to phone scammer

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A 23-year-old man in Singapore, described as a social recluse, has been cheated of more than S$4,000 by a phone scammer.

The man reportedly became a victim due to his lack of awareness about the prevalence of such crimes as he does not partake of the news and does not engage with others enough.

His predicament was brought to light after his aunt went to Shin Min Daily News to share about his experience to bring it to public attention in an attempt to stop others from falling prey the same way.

Nephew cooped up at home

According to the aunt, the incident took place some months ago in January 2022.

She described her nephew as someone who does not follow the news, as he would only go to work, and then return home to play mobile games.

It was this apparent lack of awareness that would apparently cost him.

The scam

The Chinese media reported that the victim received a phone call via the WhatsApp mobile app with a “+92” country code, which suggested it was from Pakistan.

Despite repeated warnings issued by the Singapore authorities and publicised in the media against picking up calls from unknown numbers, especially those with foreign country codes, the man still answered the call, apparently none the wiser.

The caller then appeared on video on screen in what looked like a police uniform.

With facial features hidden behind a face mask, the caller spoke in English and claimed he was a Singapore police officer, it was reported.

The victim said, according to the Chinese newspaper: “I didn’t think about it too much. I thought that since the other party was a police officer, I followed his requests and gave him my NRIC number and one-time password (OTP) according to his request. The whole call was only 5 minutes.”

Left with 38 cents in bank account

After a while, he realised something amiss and went to check his bank account.

He found that he was only left with 38 cents and his savings of more than S$4,000 were wiped clean.

His aunt said making this case known to the public would help others if they can stay abreast of current affairs and remain vigilant.

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