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SINGAPORE – Mr Louis did not think much when he received a WhatsApp message from his close friend Amer Shazally Rosni on Wednesday afternoon asking for a $3,500 loan, and sent the money immediately via PayNow.

But “Mr Amer” texted again, asking for the money to be transferred to another account as he could not access his bank account.

Mr Louis, a sales specialist who was busy with a customer at work then, followed the instructions and made another transfer of $3,500 to the account specified by “Mr Amer”.

Alarm bells went off in Mr Louis’ head only when “Mr Amer” sent another WhatsApp message asking for more money.

“I suspected something was off only after I made the second transfer of $3,500, when the scammer said it was not enough,” said the 38-year-old, who declined to give his surname.

Mr Louis immediately called Mr Amer, who is also his colleague. Mr Amer said he had not sent any of the WhatsApp messages.

It was only then that they realised a scammer had accessed Mr Amer’s WhatsApp account and messaged seven people in his contacts asking for money.

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