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Helper Sets Up Elderly Employer’s PayNow On Own Phone & Siphons S$6,600, Jailed 5 Months

Helper Siphons S$6,600 From Elderly Employer’s Bank Account Using PayNow

Even though the digitalisation of essential services brings about convenience to most users, those who are technologically ‘naive’ may find themselves struggling to catch up, or worse still, taken advantage of.

An Indonesian helper working in Singapore exploited her employer’s technological naivety, siphoning S$6,600 from the latter’s bank account.

The helper did so by creating a PayNow account — linked to her employer’s bank account — on her own phone. When she wanted to make a transaction, she would refer to her employer’s phone for the one-time password (OTP) before deleting the message that it came with.

Source: Fintech News, for illustration purposes only

She was recently sentenced to five months’ jail for theft and violations of the Computer Misuse Act.

Helper siphons S$6,600 from elderly employer’s bank account using PayNow

Tian Sandika (name transliterated from Chinese), the accused, hails from Indonesia and started working for the victim’s household last August, reported Shin Min Daily News.

The victim of the case is Tian’s employer’s 69-year-old mother who lives with her daughter and the helper in an HDB flat in Bukit Batok.

Source: Google Maps

Over the months that followed after Tian’s arrival, the helper learned that the elderly lady rarely used her mobile phone and was not familiar with operating the device.

One day, the 32-year-old helper somehow managed to set up the apps needed for online banking and PayNow transfers on her own phone. She did this using the elderly lady’s bank account and phone number, for registration purposes.

Lack of access was clearly not an issue that Tian had to grapple with.

She was allegedly able to access OTPs sent to the victim’s phone, which were needed for PayNow and online banking transactions.

Using this method, Tian transferred S$6,653.87 from the elderly lady’s bank account between April and June this year.

She reportedly remitted most of the funds to her family in Indonesia and spent the rest on online purchases.

The helper also managed to obtain her victim’s ATM PIN and made four withdrawals amounting to S$1,585.

Stole elderly woman’s ATM card & made fraudulent withdrawals

Tian made the last fraudulent transaction on 13 June, transferring S$700 from the elderly woman’s bank account.

The next day, she claimed that her mother was unwell and requested to return home.

About a week later on 19 June, her employer discovered the missing funds when she went to update her mother’s bankbook.

Tian was eventually arrested when she returned to Singapore on 7 Oct.

It’s unclear if she travelled to Singapore to work for the same family or for other purposes.

Bank account left with S$3 after theft

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the elderly victim said she was heartbroken when she found out about the scam:

She also told the Chinese daily that they had given Tian “extra bonus” after hearing about her family’s predicament.

The helper had claimed that the father wanted to purchase a motorcycle and that another relative needed money to pay for their medical bills.

Tian was sentenced to 5 months’ jail for theft and violations of the Computer Misuse Act.

Also read: S’pore Woman Loses S$72,500 In 15 Mins After Downloading App To Sell Pre-Loved Appliances

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Featured image adapted from Fintech News, for illustration purposes only. 

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