The deal said $9.90 for two crabs, but a man ended up paying way more than that.
By the time he realised that the promotion was too good to be true, the 31-year-old had over $18,000 less in his bank account.
The man came across the deal on Instagram on Wednesday (April 14), he told Lianhe Wanbao.
The ad claimed that for just $9.90, customers would receive two crabs with free express delivery, and tacked on top of the graphic was local zi char restaurant 8 Crab’s logo.
Despite the low price point, he went ahead to place an order as he had ordered from 8 Crabs before. The man said he hadn’t suspected a thing as the website looked the same as the previous time.
However, an error appeared on the screen after he entered his credit card details and a one-time password (OTP).
Just as he thought it was odd for there to be an error, the man received an SMS message informing him his credit card had been linked to an Apple Pay account.
He immediately called the bank for help but it was already too late. $18,579 had been transferred out of his account.
“My card had a limit of $20,000 and it was nearly maxed out,” he lamented. “I wanted to spend $10 on crabs but I lost over $18,000 instead. I didn’t even get to eat any crabs.”
He reported the incident to the police, eatery and his bank but was informed that he might not get his money back as he had voluntarily keyed in his OTP.
The police told AsiaOne they are currently investigating the matter.
8 Crabs told the Chinese evening daily that six other customers have fallen victim to the scam since Feb 24.
Despite their best efforts, they are unable to shut down the impersonator’s account due to a lack of evidence.
The restaurant has since warned customers of the scam on its Facebook page.
“[The scams] bring you to a website with its URL as ‘crabsdelivery.space’ (not our website). The website looks exactly like ours.”
Should customers fall prey to the scam, they’re encouraged to contact 8 Crabs so they can get in touch with the case’s investigation officer to recover their losses.
The restaurant also apologised for the inconvenience caused.
Members of the public should always remain vigilant and verily the authenticity of the websites they access.
Those who have information related to scams may call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or visit the i-Witness website. To seek scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688, or visit the Scam Alert website.