6 cents left in bank account: Woman tries to buy thunder tea rice online, loses $37,000, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

6 cents left in bank account: Woman tries to buy thunder tea rice online, loses $37,000

She saw an ad for thunder tea rice on social media and couldn’t resist the offer.

In the end, it proved too good to be true, and she ended up a victim of scam, losing over $37,000. 

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, Zhong Luo, 48, said a website was selling the Hakka dish for $7.90 each, with a buy-two-get-one-free deal. 

“There are few sellers of the dish in Singapore, so I decided to buy three servings for my family," Luo said.

She contacted the seller via a messaging app and was given a link to a form for customers to fill in their delivery address.

When she clicked on the link, however, an app called “Grab and Go” was downloaded on her mobile phone instead.

The next afternoon, Luo noticed that her phone was unresponsive – no matter how she swiped, she would always be directed back to the home screen.

At 4pm, she received a call from her bank notifying her of an outgoing $6,000 transfer. 

"I told the bank to freeze my account right away as I hadn't transferred the money," Luo said.

"But at 6pm, the bank called again, saying there were three transfers out of my account that amounted to $37,466. I immediately called the police."

Acknowledging that she was the one who clicked on the link, Luo told Shin Min that the bank was partly to blame, as they should have frozen her account at 4pm.

"If the bank had delayed the transfers, it could've helped mitigate the problem," she added.

The $37,000 lost, she said, was hard-earned money saved up by her and her husband over the years for their retirement.

She said her son is currently studying in a private college and his $6,000 school fees are due this month.

With only six cents left in the bank account, Luo has had to borrow money from family and friends to survive.

She has warned others against making the same mistake, even managing to prevent two friends who chanced upon the same ad from falling for the scam.