A middle-aged retired woman in Singapore was scammed of S1,300 and S$14,000 by two men, respectively, after getting to know them through Facebook, reported Shin Min Daily News.
First scammer: Andy
The woman, surnamed Wang (transliteration from Mandarin), met the first man, who identified himself as Andy, on Facebook in June 2022.
After chatting for five months, Andy asked Wang to help him purchase a S$50 iTunes card.
As Wang wasn’t familiar with iTunes cards, she made the purchase following instructions given by Andy, who later demanded the amount to increase to S$250.
On one occasion, Wang went to Orchard to buy an iTunes card for Andy.
However, he claimed the card had expired, so she returned to the convenience store to argue with the store assistant over the supposedly “expired” card.
The police were subsequently alerted, and the officers who attended to the case warned Wang that she had been scammed, which only fell on deaf ears.
It was only when Andy kept asking for more money from Wang and delaying their meeting date that she finally realised that he was indeed a scammer.
However, by then, she had already been scammed of S$1,300.
Andy threatened to disseminate Wang’s nude photos if she refused his request
While chatting with Andy, he had also asked Wang for her nude photos, said the retiree.
At the time, she didn’t think much about it and sent a few nude photos without showing her face.
After Wang discovered Andy’s true colours as a scammer, he threatened her by telling her he would send the photos to her ex-husband and son if she didn’t buy him another S$500 iTunes card.
The threat sent Wang into a panic, and she alerted the police immediately.
The police advised Wang to ignore the texts from Andy, and, in the end, Andy didn’t follow through with the threat.
Fell in love with new “boyfriend” Alvin
However, less than a year later, Wang was caught up in another love scam.
On May. 7, 2023, Wang met another man, who identified himself as Alvin, via Facebook.
Alvin claimed that he is a resident of Sydney who was born to a Korean father and a Malaysian mother.
Wang said Alvin was gentle and paid much attention to her life.
She shared she had also made it clear to him that if he ever brought up the issue of money, they could not even be friends, as she had been scammed previously.
To her surprise, Alvin revealed that he was also a victim of an investment scam.
Since then, the pair started to engage in conversations, during which Wang began to develop trust and feelings for Alvin.
Wang paid S$6,155 for Alvin’s “project” in Thailand
At one point, Alvin said he was handling a project in Thailand and asked Wang to help him check the price for polycarbonate before passing the contact of a company to her.
After searching for the company online to verify its authenticity, Wang contacted the company and ordered 200kg of goods, which Alvin paid for.
After completing two transactions, Alvin said he would need to purchase another 100kg of material.
He asked for Wang’s help to foot the bill, which he could barely pay half of it because he only had AUD53,000 (S$46,700) at the time.
Wang subsequently contacted the company and received the goods. She then paid S$6,155 to the company to pay for the shipping and handling fees.
Paid another S$8,000
On a later occasion, Alvin told Wang that he would need to purchase some paint thinner and would need her to help him foot an amount of RM53,000 (S$15,000).
However, Wang didn’t have much money left in her account at the time, so she negotiated with the company and made the purchase at half the price.
Subsequently, she purchased a S$650 plane ticket, flew to Bangkok on Jun. 27, and told Alvin that she would only lend him money after seeing him and his construction site.
However, Alvin used all kinds of pretexts to delay or avoid meeting Wang.
The company Wang had been dealing with also kept pressuring her, telling her that there were other customers who wanted to buy the paint thinner and that she would need to pay a deposit upfront to lock in the deal.
As a result, Wang paid another S$2,000 and S$6,000, which she borrowed from her friends at church, her pastor, and her relatives.
“Yes, I am a scammer. What can you do about that”: Alvin
When Wang finally gave up and decided to return to Singapore, she called Alvin and rebuked him as a scammer.
She also sent multiple texts afterwards to curse him.
However, in response, Alvin only said, “Yes, I am a scammer. What can you do about that?”
Wang has since lodged a police report, and the Singapore Police Force confirmed with Shin Min that investigations are ongoing.
Top images via Shin Min Daily News