A woman was helping her elderly mother update her bankbook in June when she realised that a huge sum of money was missing from the account.
Her mother, who had over $7,000 worth of savings in the account, was left with only $3.
It turns out their maid had siphoned the money between March and June this year.
For that, the 32-year-old Indonesian national was sentenced to five months’ jail for theft and violating the Computer Misuse Act, reported Shin Min Daily News on Saturday (Nov 11).
The maid was employed in August last year to do household chores and take care of her employer’s mother, a 69-year-old retiree. The three of them lived together in a HDB flat in Bukit Batok.
Realising that the elderly woman rarely used her mobile phone, the helper set up an online banking and PayNow account on her own mobile phone using the latter’s bank details.
She used her own email address and the elderly woman’s mobile number to register the mobile app and received a one-time password (OTP) to verify the transaction.
Whenever she performed a transfer, she would obtain the OTP through a text message sent to the elderly woman’s mobile phone before deleting the message right after.
Between April 19 and June 13, the helper transferred a total of $6,653.87 via 19 transactions from the elderly woman’s bank account through PayNow and online banking.
She spent a portion of the money on online shopping while most of it was remitted to her family in Indonesia for debt repayments, reported Shin Min.
In addition, the helper also stole the elderly woman’s ATM card and made four fraudulent withdrawals and charges through the card amounting to $1,585 between March 25 and April 21.
She would make sure to return the card back to its original place upon returning to the flat.
Shin Min reported that on June 13, the helper transferred $700 from the elderly woman’s account to her own bank account. The next day, she claimed that she needed to return to Indonesia to care for her sick mother.
Her employer only found out about her misdeeds on June 19, five days after she left. However, the Indonesian was arrested when she returned to Singapore on Oct 7.
The elderly woman told the Chinese daily that they had previously given the helper a sum of money when the latter claimed that her father needed to buy a motorcycle and when her family members were sick.
“When she went back, we checked my account and found that the account, which initially had about $7,000, was left with only $3. I felt really heartbroken, because I can’t get it back anymore,” she said.
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