If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
One undergraduate found out the hard way, after falling prey to an online job scam.
In a public letter, Yap Yong Xian said that the scam an offer of a job with “flexible working time”.
The victims had to use their own money to “submit orders”, and were promised that their money would be reimbursed, together with a commission.
Yap lodged a police report when a refund for the top-ups was not given.
Unfortunately, according to the police, it would be “very unlikely” to get the money back.
This is Yap’s letter, reproduced in full:
“I am an undergraduate and a victim of a job scam.
During my recent year-end school holidays, I found out via Telegram about an online job with flexible working time. The job required me to “click and submit orders”. I also had to top up my account with my own money to complete “missions” before I could retrieve all my commissions and top-ups.
On the first day I managed to get all my top-ups, including the commission. The next day, I realised that the amounts needed for the top-ups were increasing.
I then contacted the “agent” about this and was told to ask for a refund from the “customer service”.
I lodged a police report an hour after failing to get a refund. The police told me I would get a preliminary update within seven working days.
I also tried calling my bank, OCBC Bank, to report the scam and ask for a recall of the funds transferred via PayNow.
I couldn’t get through after several attempts, and tried again the next day. I had to navigate the hotline for a long time before talking to a person.
I submitted the police report to OCBC, which said it would cooperate with the police. The police told me it is very unlikely that I will get my money back.
I lost $9,000 in a few hours. I have heard that many other students fell prey to such job scams during the holidays.
Early this month, OCBC sent a letter saying that my fund recall was unsuccessful. OCBC also said that the recipient of the funds will have to permit the fund recall for my request to be successful.
With the prevalence of e-payment methods these days, it is possible to make mistakes when transferring funds.
In such cases, does it mean it depends entirely on the recipient to decide whether one gets his money back, even when a police report is lodged?
What, then, is the role of the police in such cases?”