Man loses $2,667 after downloading Android app linked to legit pet grooming company

The New Paper
Aug 15, 2023

A Facebook user shared a post recently about how he got scammed out of $2,667 after downloading an application linked to a pet grooming website.

AzMan KaSim had seen a post on Facebook for cat grooming services and was lured in by its "very reasonable" prices – $105 for three cats.

He left a comment on the post and soon corresponded with a “groomer” via WhatsApp. 

"He told me to download an application for registration, which I did… I didn't suspect anything as my workplace uses similar applications like APKs (Android Package Kit)," he said in his post, dated Aug 14.

The application allowed him to access a website that simulated Olo Pet Grooming Salon, an actual local pet grooming shop.

He was instructed to scroll down the webpage, but as he tried to do so, he noted "there was always interference on the phone's screen".

He was then told to make a deposit of $5 as confirmation of his booking – but the transaction bounced because the number provided by the other party wasn't registered.

When AzMan contacted the “groomer” to clarify this issue, he was told not to worry. At that moment, he received an SMS indicating that $2,667 had been deducted from his account.

"The process was done automatically (and) my phone suddenly switched off.”

When he turned his phone back on, he realised it had gone through a factory reset, and all his data had been erased.

"I went to check my bank account and confirmed that money amounting to $2,667 had been deducted," he said. "All correspondence with the person (scammer) was also gone."

He has since reported the incident to his bank and to the police.

"Never download an app with an APK (Android Package Kit)," he added.

In July, Olo posted on Facebook that they were aware of impersonators posing as their salon on WhatsApp.

"We want to officially clarify that Olo does not collect any form of deposit prior to rendering our services, nor do we reach out to customers to request the download of any material," the post read.

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