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Beware Of Fake Google Play App, Retiree Loses More Than 200k In Life Savings

Beware Of Fake Google Play App, Retiree Loses More Than 200k In Life Savings

A 70-year-old man lost his life savings in just two hours due to a possible theft of his personal data.

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A retired man got his pension totalling SGD30,000 (RM99278.30) in January this year but lost it all including his SGD40,000 (RM132371.07) life savings in the same month.

It was suspected to be due to malware attached to a fake Google Play app for Android devices.

Lu (not his real name), 70, received a call from DBS bank personnel at 9am on 29 January informing him that suspicious transactions had occurred from 3am.

He was told about SGD71,000 (RM234958.65) was transferred to an overseas account. There was only SGD2000 (RM6618.55) left in the account. Lu immediately told the bank to freeze his account.

After lodging a police report and turning in his mobile phone for investigation, it was discovered that a Google Play app containing malware had been installed.

According to AsiaOne, this led to the theft of his personal data. Unfortunately, Lu said he likely wouldn’t get his money back.

The police told him the money couldn’t be returned once it was transferred overseas.

Image: Shin Min Daily

Lu said it was heartbreaking to see all of his hard-earned life savings vanishing just like that. The incident gave him and his wife many sleepless nights.

To add salt to the wound, the scammers also racked up SGD6000 (RM19855.66) in credit card charges which Lu has yet to repay.

Lu was adamant that he was not prompted to provide any one-time password for the bank transfers and he did not click on any suspicious links.

He believes the bank has a part to play in the alleged security lapses and is still hoping to hear from the bank regarding compensation.

On 11 April 2023, the Singapore Police Force and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore released a joint statement to warn the public about the dangers of downloading third-party applications or applications from dubious sites.

A photo provided showed that there are two Google Play Store Apps.

The fake app is labelled “Google Play,” while the genuine app is labelled “Google Play Store.”

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