SINGAPORE — A 76-year-old woman discovered that her domestic helper had stolen $12,000 from her over several months, leaving her with only $244.65 in her bank. The helper, whose name has only been given as Farida, was given a seven-month jail sentence for stealing from her employer, Madam Chen.

The older woman had noticed that Farida was shopping for clothes and accessories more than usual and even stopped eating food that Mdm Chen’s family ate, buying expensive items such as steak instead. Farida, 41, had gained access to Mdm Chen’s accounts after the employer had given her her bank card as well as the details of her account so she could aid Mdm Chen in withdrawing money occasionally.

Farida has worked for Mdm Chen since May 2019. She first withdrew $500 from the elderly woman’s account in March of this year. As Mdm Chen did not notice the withdrawal, Farida grew bold and made several other withdrawals between March and September of this year.

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The money in Mdm Chen’s account was composed of allowances that her children had given her, Shin Min Daily News reported. She used the money to buy new clothes and accessories, and later the police found out that she had also purchased lottery tickets and mobile prepaid credit. When Mdm Chen asked her about her frequent purchases, Farida lied.

“She told me she won the lottery and treated me to a meal. I felt it was strange, but didn’t suspect anything at the time,” Mdm Chen told Shin Min Daily News.

Things came to a head when Mdm Chen attempted to withdraw $300 on Sept 10, only to find out that there was only $244.65 left in her account.

Mdm Chen then confronted Farida. The helper begged the elderly woman not to file a report to the police and promised to pay her back if she were allowed to keep working.

But upon the counsel of members of her family, Mdm Chen filed the report anyway.

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Netizens commenting on the report said that this should be a lesson in not trusting anyone with one’s bank details. “It’s a heavy price to pay for trusting the wrong person,” wrote one netizen.

“Giving maid the bank card is so wrong in the very 1st place … No matter how long she has worked for u…,” commented another.

Another appeared to believe that the elderly woman was at least partially at fault.


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