SINGAPORE — When a pissed off man walked into UOB Bank’s main branch trying to deposit a check for more than $150,000 into an offshore account, service associate Jenny Hong became suspicious.
The first telltale sign was the name of the account holder and the account number did not match, she said.
When Ms Hong, 46, questioned the 70-year-old man further and asked him why he needed to send money to the overseas account, he became more shaken.
The incident happened earlier this year at the bank‘s main branch in Raffles Place.
Ms Hong said: “It was strange because he was trying to deposit such a large amount of money into an account that wasn’t his. He kept saying it was very urgent and when I asked him about it, his answers grew more and more incoherent.”
Sensing something was wrong, Ms. Hong, who has worked at UOB for 27 years, reported the incident to the bank’s deputy branch manager, Alison Cheng.
They then realized that the man was the victim of a scam.
Ms Cheng, 55, said: “He said the money was for his girlfriend in the Netherlands.
“He told me he had just met her on Facebook and had known her for two months. She insisted that she needed his money to do a business deal and make a commission from it. “
At this point, Ms. Cheng’s goal was to convince the man that he was being scammed and persuade him to stop the transfer.
“I asked if he had seen any fraudulent articles in the newspapers. He said yes, but insisted he was not scammed.
“He said it was love and his girlfriend urgently needed the money,” Ms Cheng said.
She spent the next half hour convincing him of the scams and it was only then that he realized he had nearly fallen victim to an internet romance scam.
Ms. Cheng added, “The man was suddenly resolute and told us not to complete the transaction.”
He also made a police report.