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Author Topic: "DHL" + "Interpol police" Scam  (Read 1334 times)

Offline ainat

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"DHL" + "Interpol police" Scam
« on: January 11, 2023, 05:49:56 PM »
Retiree scammed of $3 million, forced to sell 2 properties to pay loanshark debt
January 11, 2023 | Candice Cai
Lianhe Zaobao

She was swindled of $3 million and had to resort to borrowing from loansharks as well as selling two of her properties to pay off her debt.

In a Lianhe Zaobao report today (Jan 11), the 74-year-old retiree, Poon Sing Wah, recounted how she was cheated of her hard-earned money back in 2019.

According to Poon, a former Zaobao reporter, the caller had pretended to be an employee from courier company DHL, indicating that Poon had sent several forged passports to Beijing which were being detained at customs.

Later on, a man who claimed to be an "interpol police officer" in China told Poon that she was being investigated for masterminding a money laundering scheme and had been found guilty.

And as a result, all the money in her bank account in China would be frozen for two years.

Poon was born in Shanghai and still maintained a bank account in China, Zaobao reported, adding that the news worried the woman as she had been planning to use the sum of money the next month.

Losing $10,000 every three seconds

Preying on her distress, the scammer then offered to "clarify the facts" and even introduced a "general prosecutor" to help her.

They even got a female "police officer" to hand her the documentation of her "crimes" as proof, warning her not to tell anyone.

"Both times, the person would meet me at the carpark (at her condo in Singapore)," she shared in a video interview. Although she seemed evasive, they told Poon it was because the police were secretly helping her.

Just like that, Poon gradually fell into the web of deceit as she heeded every instruction from the scammers.

The elaborate ruse also saw Poon logging on to a website said to belong to the China police.

She was instructed to press the "ok" button on her digital token every three seconds to "verify her fingerprints".

Poon later realised that each time she pressed the button, tens of thousands was siphoned out of her account.

"I lost 50,000 (S$9,800) yuan every three seconds."

According to Zaobao, Poon logged in to her China Zheshang Bank account a total of 266 times in 20 days, with the outflow of bank transfers amounting to an eye-watering 14.86 million yuan.

"That's the equivalent of 3.03 million Singapore dollars then," shared Poon in a video interview with the Chinese daily.

Poon, who lives alone, claimed that she was unaware that her life savings were being gradually emptied during those 20 days.

She simply thought she could get out of trouble by following the instructions and allowing the "Beijing Bank supervisory committee" to review her account.

Left with 15 cents in bank account

Poon found out she was left with just 0.76 yuan in her bank account.

But that wasn't all.

In addition to wiping out her entire savings, the scammers also requested that Poon remit more money based on stories that they'd constructed.

They told her that they had to prove her financial strength to Chinese authorities by transferring cash from her Singapore account to her China Zheshang Bank account.

She was also told to pay bail for a police officer who'd helped her, as well as pay the burial fees of a victim who died because of her.

To raise the additional money that they asked for, Poon not only borrowed money from friends but also approached loansharks.

Poon only came to the realisation that it could all be a scam when a friend told her of the possibility. But it was too late.

Poon panicked when she realised she could not log into her China Zheshang Bank account. She called a bank representative, only to find out that she was left with just 0.76 yuan in her account.

She flew to Shanghai two days later and made a police report but was told by the police there that it was out of their jurisdiction as the crime did not happen in China.

Thoughts of ending her life

To clear her loanshark debt, Poon said she was forced to sell off two of her properties with her daughter's help, Zaobao reported.

Poon told the Chinese evening daily that she lost 10kg from the incident and had even thought of ending her life.

"Although I wouldn't have to care about anything if my life ended, but what about others whom I owed money to?"

Poon eventually decided to step forward and share her experience in hopes that it can serve as a warning to others.

"I would like to use this unfortunate incident to raise the public's awareness," she shared, likening the dreadful tactics of scammers to "terrorists".

Poon also took legal action against China Zheshang Bank for their alleged lapses in security but failed to win the favour of the court nor managed to obtain any compensation. 

What gave her some comfort was that her children did not get angry nor reprimand her after finding out about the situation.

"I apologised and told them I was very sorry, as that sum of money was meant to have been theirs," said Poon.