Affiliate Marketing

Woman lost $17k she had saved for her wedding to a job scam

SINGAPORE – It took her two years to save up the $17,000 she needed for her wedding, and in just one day in September last year, she lost the money to a job scam.

Iris (not her real name), 34, had come across an advertisement on Facebook for a part-time marketing gig.

She thought she could make some extra money for her big day, which was scheduled for the end of 2021.

The hours were flexible and she could do the assignments online.

She messaged them on Sept 16 last year and they replied immediately, saying she was hired as an affiliate marketing associate, purportedly for e-commerce platform Qoo10.

The Singaporean, who is working in an administrative role in an engineering company, was then instructed to use her own money to pay in advance for products on the platform, to boost the sales figures of merchants.

The “hirer”, who Iris only exchanged WhatsApp messages with, said she would be reimbursed with a small commission.

She was then put in a WhatsApp group where she noticed some instructions came from people with foreign telephone numbers.

“I thought it was strange that (the scammers) told me to make payment to a bank account they provided, instead of paying on the platform.

“But I brushed it off thinking I was paying directly to the merchant’s bank account,” she said.

Within an hour on the same day, Iris had transferred $620 to them and made about $100 in profits from “buying” four items on the platform.

When she saw she had $720 transferred to her account, she accepted another assignment that entailed transferring a larger sum of $1,600 to “buy” a mini desktop.

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