Notices are everywhere warning the public of the dangers of falling victim to witty scammers but sometimes, these warnings fall on deaf ears, like mine.
Let me share with you how I was recently almost scammed.
One afternoon, I received a FB Messenger text from a close relative – “Mrs X” (daughter-in-law of my wife's sister), with a photo of herself and hubby.
She was my long-time FB friend and a trustworthy person.
In her message, Mrs. X asked for my phone number.
As we had never spoken on a phone before, I was not surprised that she asked for my phone. Unquestionably, I gave her my number.
She texted to say she wanted to give me a gift voucher if I participate in a special campaign in LAZADA's 10th anniversary.
She then forwarded me an impressive and credible template of LAZADA’s 10-year anniversary campaign with a 6 digits code prominently displayed.
She asked for the code and I happily send it to her without a second thought.
Instantaneously, she texted that I had won $940 and was happy for me.
“Really? How could I get hold of the S940?”, I replied as I was stunned and overjoyed.
“Yes really, I’m serious. You won $940. Please send me your credit or debit card details so that I can transfer the money to you instantly”, she responded.
By nature, I’m not a finicky nor smart person.
But somehow by the grace of God, I got a bit suspicious and surprised as to how I could easily get $940 in this manner.
“Money so easy to earn meh? I asked myself.
Instinctively, I texted her to call me.
“I’m in the money transfer phase right now. I’ll call you after I transfer your money.
Don’t worry this information remains confidential.”, she replied.
Then, a prescient warning struck my mind that I was about to be victimized in a scam.
I was annoyed and furious.
“No. You call me now or I can’t give you my card details”. I insisted.
“Ok, wait”, she answered.
“Please send me your card detail now without further delay or I can’t transfer your money”, she continued.
“Fuck-Off”. I replied angrily as I knew at that moment she was a scammer.
Instantly, I logged off from Facebook and that was the end of our Messenger correspondence.
An hour later, a Facebook administrator sent me an email to inform me that my FB account had been hacked and it will be disabled until further notice.
Nowadays, scammers use sophisticated ploys, ingenious and devious ways to get you to divulge your personal details and part with your money.
Last year alone, close to 24,000 scam cases are reported in Singapore.
Millions are lost to scammers involving internet online love, e-commerce, lucky draws, impersonation, investments, job and loan scams.
From this episode, I learned that scammers are extremely crafty and in a moment of indiscretion, I could have been a scam victim.
This time around, I was lucky.