Friday, May 31, 2013

Money Begging Scams

We have just received a scam alert regarding begging for money.


I have 2 scams to report. Both involve a Malay auntie.

1. Sometime in 2012 I was going home as usual. I went to withdraw money from the atm at Compass Point to buy dinner for my family. As I was walking away, I was approached by this Malay auntie in a tudung, dragging 3 kids with her. The oldest was about teenaged and looked deeply unhappy.

The auntie gave me her sob story, about how she had no money and she came all the way here because her friend borrowed money from her and was going to return it but said that she had waited with her kids since 12pm and she still wasn't there by 5pm. I got impatient with her as I started suspecting it was a scam, so I asked how much she wanted. She said ten dollars to take a cab home as they had spent all their money to get there.

I looked at her children and struggled for a long time but in the end I gave it to her since it's just $10. I gave it to her for her children because I was sure they had no choice and looked so unhappy. Anyway I'm sure it is a scam so if you come across such an auntie beware and tell her that you'll help ask the security guard to help her, chances are she will scurry away.

2. My colleague told me about this Malay auntie who scammed him by claiming her ATM card is chipped, and that she needs money to visit her sick relative in hospital. He gave money to her but a few months later bumped into the same woman, who had forgotten him. She ran the same line by him and he asked her, "4 months ago your atm card chipped now chipped again?" and she walked away quickly.

Please never give money to such sob stories chances are it's fake. Always offer to call the security guard to help them and see their reaction. If you are near a police station, offer to bring them to the police to help them.


Do note that there are similar scams happening since long time ago. Ten years ago, I had personally met one at Cityhall area and the scammer was a Chinese. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, language and religion could have done these for the sake of money.

Sadly, kind souls are usually the victims. How many of you have decided not to lend a helping hand just because you are afraid of being conned?

If you happen to meet such people on the street, do not turn soft easily just because they sound pitiful. Do refer them to the security or police for help. $10 may be little to some people but others may need to work two to three hours in order to get the money. You do not want any kind soul to be conned and lose their hard earned money.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) Impersonate Scams

Police have noted a recent spate of cases involving victims who received phone calls from scammers claiming to be officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA). The scammers would call victims using a phone number similar to the ICA hotline (6391 6100). They would then inform the victims that they had not filled in their Disembarkation/Embarkation cards properly, and asked the victims to transfer funds to the scammers to legitimise their stay in Singapore. As of 2 May 2013, 49 cases have been reported, of which 22 foreign victims have fallen to the scam.

To raise public awareness to this new scam, Police have stepped up the community engagement efforts. At the foreign worker dormitories, crime prevention messages have been shared to highlight this new trend. At the inter-agency roadshows to reach out to the foreign workers, we would also include the sharing of this scam in the programme. To increase the outreach, crime advisories have been disseminated to areas like Little India, and are also prominently displayed at the remittance centres to warn potential victims. Police also partnered the Singapore Bangladesh Society to highlight this scam at its Public Awareness Campaign held on 1 May 2013 in front of Serangoon Plaza. The High Commission of India in Singapore has publicised our scam advisory by uploading it on their website. Police seek community assistance and awareness to prevent, deter and detect this new scam.

In addition, ICA had issued a public advisory to clarify that such calls are not authentic. ICA does not call up members of public for funds transfer pertaining to immigration facilities.

Members of public who received such phone scam calls should do the following:
• Call the Police immediately at the Police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or ‘999’ to report the case.
• Ignore such calls; and
• Do not transfer any money via remittance agencies, banks or any other means to the caller

Source: Singapore Police Force Facebook page

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Interior Design Company Scam

Courtesy from Singapore Police Force's Facebook page:

Police have received several reports against a contractor of an interior design company for incomplete work after collect payment/deposits for renovation services in advance. Repeated attempts to contact the contractor were unsuccessful and the complainants have come forward to lodge police reports. Police investigations are on-going.

Police will like to remind the public to be mindful of such cases and take note of the following:

i) Be sure you know where the renovation company is physically located. If you are liaising with a person who claims to be from a particular renovation company, make additional checks with the company itself.

ii) Check if the renovation contractor is a HDB Registered Renovation Contractor on HDB’s website if you are renovating your HDB apartment.

iii) Check with ACRA to confirm that the renovation company is a registered business.

iv) Ask the renovation contractor for their list of clients/customers. Make enquiries with the clients/customers on the background and services provided by the renovation contractor.

Hope the tips above given by the Singapore Police Force can help to reduce the chance of you getting a wrong contractor.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Facebook Competition Scam

It is a trend for businesses to market through Facebook. One easy way to gain more LIKEs for the Facebook page is to hold a competition. Participants may have to LIKE and share the page and its post or an application in order to qualify. The result can be determined by highest number of LIKEs or simply by "luckydraw". The latter is usually a scam since the management has the right to select the "winner" and needs not even to come up with the prize in the first place.

One recent Facebook scam page is "Camera Enthusiasts".

1. The page does not link to any website that may provide advice as stated.

2. It claims that Canon has given them seven 7D DSLR cameras for nothing, which is far too exaggerating for the price and units. Canon is not a stupid brand that does worthless marketing with seven units of such expensive camera. They would rather get their own marketing team to do the job and increase their own number of fans for their Facebook. Other brands such as Sony and Samsung would give away their cameras free only to selected famous professional photographers.

3. There is no detail about the competition, except that the preys have to keep sharing the posts. The preys are supposed to share as many times as possible in order to have a higher chance to win any unit of camera but there is no application to track it.

4. It posts a status "The comment with no likes wins 40 votes into the 7D draw, drawn tonight!" in order to make everyone LIKE others' posts to generate more views in their friends' newsfeed. This is absolutely lame but smart.

5. After the deadline of the competition, the dumb scammer continues to share the post in the page.

6. The scammer is not able to release the list of winners and claims that it is due to privacy. Any decent business page would have proudly announced the winners and persuade them to advertise the page.

We have yet to find out what are the motives of the scammer. It can be just a prank to see a huge increase in the number of LIKEs or the scammer may be selling some products in future.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Singapore Model Kayla Wong Impersonate Scam

Our own Singapore models have their shares of worries for impersonate issues. Young model like Kayla Wong has also been targeted by scammer who probably agrees that she has a very appealing looks. We mean scammers do not only rip Taiwan or Hong Kong girls' photos.

As usual, (merged with has allowed all scams to be made easy.

Kayla knows nothing about nor its existence.

We are not sure of the intention (likely just for the dumb pets game) of the fake profile. However, we do know it's difficult to get these clones removed. The "report abuse" link on the profile is probably workable for the FBI.

After submitting a report, you will get the same template reply:

We will need the original owner of the pictures to contact us in order to confirm their identity. Please be aware that we can only take action if the stolen photo is of the actual person.

If you are in contact with the original owner of these photos, please forward them this message:

In order for us to take action against the user who has stolen your photos, we'll need you to contact us directly from the email address registered to your Tagged account. Please submit your report as follows and follow these verification steps:

1) Take a new photo of yourself.
2) In the photo, you must hold up a piece of paper with the current date and time written on it.
3) Attach the photo to your New support request sent via the contact us link on our Help page.
4) In your reply, please provide the link (URL) to the user's profile who has stolen your photos.

To send a link to another user's profile, please do the following:

-Click on the member's Profile Picture. In the Browser Address Bar, you will see the Link to that profile. It will look like this:********** ("****" represents a number)

We are not sure how well it will work but we have heard of users having problems replying to the email with attachment of their photos while following the instructions above. Anyway, it's just stupid to follow the steps.

Just a random sideline: Tagged doesn't even have a "remove friend" link on individual profiles so that we can easily remove fake profiles after adding and realising they are hoax.

We predict will eventually be shut down due to the large influx of fake accounts since they have no better way to stop them. With real users abandoning the social media website, how long can it last?

We do love the website for its ease of use and making friends, but seriously, can their team do a better job?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Begging Scam

From Facebook posted by Farhan Osman:

A warning to all my fellow Singaporeans.

Please be aware of this man.
My friends have met this guy for four times and all of the instances are of the same content of scam.

Recently, a friend met this person at the bus stop outside West Mall. Here are the exact words from my friend. “He suddenly came to the bus stop I was at and he pretended to faint and said he was having an asthma attack and was looking for his asthma inhaler and he lived at Tampines and without it he can’t make his way home as he might pass out anytime.” My friend then decided to call for him an ambulance but he refused.

In another instance, he was inside Tampines MRT station, with the same asthma attack drama and my friend was nice enough to accompany him out of the station to hire a taxi. He then asked my friend for money, but when my friend said he had no money with him, he scolded my friend.

What the person expects you to do is to give him some money for sympathy to take a taxi or to a doctor.

If we don’t do anything, others could possibly get cheated. So please do share.

There are just too many ways scammers can do get money from kind-hearted people.