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Gone in 20 minutes: Woman loses $30k after installing fake shopping app on phone


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She wanted to make a payment of $30, but ended up losing $30,000 after some scammers took control of her phone. 

The woman, who wanted to be known as Zheng, told Lianhe Zaobao she saw an Instagram advertisement for a retail app on May 21.

The advertisement stated that customers who made any purchase on their platform would receive a free blender worth $80. 


Enticed by the offer, the 30-year-old admin staff clicked on a link to download the app on her mobile phone, and was directed to WhatsApp, where she was given instructions on how to do so.

On May 25, Zheng ordered some fruits and vegetables on the app, which cost a total of $30. As she was about to link her PayLah! account to the app to make payment, she encountered several errors. 

She sought help by contacting the platform's "staff" on WhatsApp, and was told to try a few more times as the app was buggy. 


Just as the woman was about to try again, her phone automatically shut down. When the device restarted, she realised it was being remotely controlled by someone else.



"I saw the phone's interface sliding left and right. I tried to use my phone to call the bank, but the call was cut off. I couldn't stop the payment authorisation, or terminate the transactions," she told the Chinese daily. 

Over the next 20 minutes, Zheng watched in horror as the scammers made six fund transfers from her bank account, taking out about $5,000 from her bank account each time. 

Zheng lost $29,877.09 in total. 

She subsequently turned off her phone, and used her home phone to contact the bank and the police. 

The police confirmed with Zaobao that a report had been lodged. 

Malware alert 

In February this year, DBS released an advisory to warn customers of Android malware, which may hide in apps on Google Play store, or in social media posts. 

The Android app then asks for permissions to download other malicious apps and browse through an infected phone without approval. Scammers can then control the device to steal sensitive information and approve fund transfers. 


To protect against such malware, users are advised to: 

  • Be cautious of attachments, QR codes or links to apps in unsolicited emails, messages or social media posts. 
  • Only download apps from the official Apple App Store and Google Play Store 
  • Avoid jailbreaking or rooting devices, as these make them an easier target for malware. 
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i already say until sian. my old post.



why i love D Card

step 1: alway set the limit to $0. only increase when you buy something, after paying fast hand fast leg to disable. usually a few min only


step 2:

first account: have a standalone bank account just for online (as in use it for E-payment, e-com etc... only).


2nd account: this bank saving account for salary/ passive income money deposit , only allow atm withdrawal function THAT ALL.

No access to not to have those all in one card, phone banking, flash pay, online banking, fund transfer, giro etcc... (simple if you inconvenience yourself, you inconvenience the scammer too) if bank say all they have all in one card only, then call them to disable the all other function tie to this account  if cant then set the limit to 0


3rd account: this account is for daily/monthly use but with limited fund which you have to manually withdraw from 2nd account  , can have any feature or function you need like paynow, flash pay, net, atm, FAST fund transfer, QR code etc....)


step 3: prefer your standalone online account to have less then $20. if dont want to pay the monthly service charge  then keep it at $500 (at your own risk).

step 4: set alert to sms you if there any deduction, for me i set at 0.01cent

the scammer cant steal what you dont have. if your debit card got only $20 at the most you lose $20. that if all the step 1, step 2, step 3 and step 4 failed.

* some paying like amazon if not immediately. so if you have $500 and the item is $80. then transfer the rest of the money or withdrawn out first. hacker cant steal if there no money inside


update on the amazon payment, since amazon is not immediately payment, transfer the amount needed to a digital wallet like singtel dash (have virtual credit card), so no need to risk the the debit card which have min balance either 500 or ocbc 1000




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