Retiree forced to return to work after downloading app that caused him to lose $40k

An elderly man downloaded an app in hopes of improving his laggy computer's performance — but ended up losing $40,000.

The scam wiped out half of 71-year-old Mr Chen's retirement funds, forcing him to return to the workforce to earn a living, reported Shin Min Daily News.

Mr Chen, who retired three years ago, said he received a call from his bank in the early hours of January 31 this year, informing him about 47 suspicious transactions in his bank account since 2am.

The bank told him that his account had been frozen and requested that he make a check.

Mr Chen then realised that he did not receive SMSes about the transactions as none of them exceeded $1,000 each time.

He also acknowledged that he would have incurred even greater losses if the bank had not been vigilant and frozen his account in time.

Mr Chen, who had around $90,000 in his bank account, said more than $37,000 had been transferred out.

He lodged a police report as well as went to the bank to suspend his credit cards and accounts the next day.

Sensing that something was still amiss, Mr Chen checked another two bank accounts that he had in his name. He realised that the $8,000 in one account had been stolen after 27 transfers.

Mr Chen then recalled how he had come across a pop-up advertisement to clean up and optimise his computer on January 13. As his computer was running slowly, he downloaded the app.

However, he deleted the programme after it kept flooding him with notifications.

The police suspected that his credit card details might have been stolen during this time, said Mr Chen.

According to Mr Chen, the affected bank accounts happen to be the two that he uses the most often and are also considered his retirement funds.

Now that his savings have been emptied by half, he cannot help but panic and therefore has decided to the workforce.

Mr Chen added: "I'm currently working as a part-time supervisor. Having encountered something like this, I have no choice but to make a comeback and earn pocket money."

In response to media queries, the police confirm that a report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.