Woman loses $50k, left with $7 in bank account after downloading app to buy durians

A woman lost her life savings of more than $50,000 after she fell for an elaborate scam — all because she wanted to buy some durians online.

Ms Xu, 50, told Lianhe Zaobao that she had seen various advertisements by durian stalls on Facebook in the past few weeks. She gave in to her cravings and contacted one of the sellers, known as 'TMZ Fresh', last Thursday (May 4) in hopes of buying durians to enjoy with her family.

Ms Xu recounted: "They replied me a few hours later and said they were currently running a promotion, with Musang King durian going for $6/kg and D24 durian at $3/kg."

She then asked the seller for details such as how to order and delivery times. They requested for her phone number, claiming that a customer service representative would follow up with her.

"A man with a suspected Malaysian accent subsequently contacted me. He told me to download an app called 'E2 Mall' and asked me to enter my personal info to apply for membership," Ms Xu added.

"He also said that he would send me durians. I obliged accordingly, but kept getting declined when I tried to make payment online."

An unsuspecting Ms Xu continued following the man's instructions. She visited the bank on Saturday to get a banking token and even entered her banking details into the E2 Mall app, not knowing that she was falling for a scam.

When she tried using PayNow to buy food on Sunday, she logged into her banking app and was shocked to learn that over $50,000 was missing. Only $7 was left in her account.

Frightened, Ms Xu contacted the police and her bank, but it was too late.

She said: "I noticed two unauthorised transfers in my account on Saturday. The first was $27,549 and the second was $26,231. Those were my life savings."

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

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