A 36-year-old single mother, who lost her job in the pandemic, was cheated of $15,610 by a scammer and left with only $17.06 cents in her savings account.
She is now depending on her sibling for financial support.
The woman, Ms Zhang, spoke to Shin Min Daily News and shared that she received a message from a Malaysian number last week.
The scammer had pretended to be a job recruiter and asked her if she was keen on a job where she could earn between $50 to $500 per day.
The scammers’ message also included a photo of Shopee.
Zhang replied that she was keen and she was then referred to another scam recruiter, who have her instructions for her to start her “work”, including going on Shopee and liking some of the products.
Zhang was promised a return of $2 to $3 for each like, and Zhang then did so before being entered into the next phase of “work”.
The scammers told her to place an advance order for a product on Amazon, and she was told that she’d get a full refund of her money as well as a 20% commission on the product value.
Zhang was told to transfer the price of the product into a bank account, and she would be sent a link to place an order on Amazon.
Zhang then did as she was told and repeated the process a few times, buying products that were worth hundreds of dollars, and she was initially paid the refund and the commission.
However, the recruiter later told her that there were errors in the order and instructed her to place more orders to fix the problem and get her money back.
Zhang then did as she was told repeatedly, and each time the scammer would promise her that it was the last time.
Within 12 hours, Zhang transferred $15,610 to the scammer, and they continued to ask her to place more orders, and she started to suspect that she was scammed.
She later lodged a police report.
Reporters from Shin Min Daily News later looked into the website that Zhang was given, and found out that it was not the official Amazon website.