‘Changi iShop’ scammer caught red-handed by Singapore woman in hilarious phone call

The “Changi” scam call taking place. Image: Kate Gienelyn/Facebook
The “Changi” scam call taking place. Image: Kate Gienelyn/Facebook

A scammer trying to solicit confidential information by posing as a Changi Airport representative was caught red-handed by a Filipino woman based in Singapore yesterday, in a hilarious phone call that was captured on video. 

Kate Gienelyn posted the encounter on Facebook after turning the tables on the man who tried to get her bank account details by claiming she had won a S$50,000 cash prize from Changi’s retail site: iShopChangi. 

Her first tip something was amiss? Probably the fact that he didn’t even get the name of the online store right, referring to it as “Changi I Shop.”

Skeptical, Gienelyn, who hadn’t even purchased anything on the site, placed the caller on loudspeaker, hit record, then preceded to mercilessly mock the scammer until he hung up in a rage.

“The scary part is, before I recorded the phone conversation video, I asked what my mobile number is and he called out the correct one,” she wrote in the caption. “I wonder where they got my number from or how? They called my number also days ago, so this is their second time.”

Singapore’s seen a surge of such scam calls recently, according to an alert posted on the Changi Airport Facebook account yesterday.

“Unsolicited calls have been made to some individuals asking for bank account numbers to claim a prize in the ‘Be A Changi Millionaire’ promotion,” the Facebook post said, citing the airport’s well-known lucky draw contest.

“Changi Airport Group is committed to protecting our customers’ information. We will not ask for confidential information like bank account or credit card numbers,” it added.

Granted, pretty much no legit company (or organization, or individual) will ask for those things over the phone, but we’ll give Gienelyn’s scammer credit for at least mixing things up by claiming to be calling for iShopChangi rather than the lucky draw. Not that it worked.

In the two-minute video, the scammer can be heard saying: “Now ma’am, I send this money S$50,000, I send it in your account. Which bank do you have account in Singapore ma’am? DBS? OCBC? POSB? Standard Chartered? Which one you have?”

Gienelyn then asked: “Can you tell me when I went to the airport? What did I buy in the airport?”  

He responded: “You don’t buy anything ma’am, you take that prize, S$50,000, that’s free ma’am. No pay any one single dollar ma’am. That is your prize … Changi International Airport … this money is coming to your account ma’am. Which bank do you have account? Please answer me.”

At this point, Gienelyn took control of the conversation and began asking the man for his personal details, including his name and where he was from. The man initially went along with it, saying his name was “David Jones” and that he was from Thailand. After that, he gave up.

“Oh my god, why you need this one?!” the scammer finally screamed when she repeatedly asked him how to properly pronounce the name of his hometown. 

“I just want to know you, I just want to get to know you,” Gienelyn said just before the scammer hung up.

Editor’s Note: We have updated this story to remove the photo of Kate Gienelyn and denote her nationality.

More news from the Little Red Dot at Coconuts.co/Singapore.

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