Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another Online Shopping Scam

We have seen a scam alert posted by Facebook user Joan Ter who is a victim of an online shopping scam.

Please beware of the scammer. As extracted from the Facebook post:

online scam

Hi All,

DO NOT buy anything from the seller holding bank account no. 073-27352-8.

This happen on myself on 02 Sept 12, I've ordered a luggage from Hong Gadget. Till now I still haven't received the item and I'm blocked from his/her FB right after payment was done. After few of my friends trying to help me to PM him/her, my friends was blocked as well and he/her change her FB name to Sumiko Gadget.

We spread the picture around and today we found out that he/her created another FB account to con buyers. I add Loewe Sim as friend after I suspect he/she is Hong/Sumiki Gadget coz all the pictures of the items are 100% similar from Hong/Sumiko Gadget. Immediately he blocked me. So I ask my friend (which is already in his new FB account) to purchase an item and ask for bank account number for payment.

And confirm that he is the same person who con me. I have already made a police report, I hope those who have conned by him/her will also make a police report and have this person nab!

Fake Policeman Scam

We have received a blog comment a couple of months ago regarding a phone scam. Sorry for not posting this up earlier because it has gone into the spam list automatically.

Fraudster Threatening Sex crime: I received a mail to call a number 9350 2840. The call got cut and received obscene message soliciting pros. I replied asking for identity and later a stupid scamster called from 85870482 stating that he is a cop and I need to meet him at jurong west police station. He said some guy having no 85958031 and complained about me because i messaged her daugher (mob9350 2840). I knew I did not msg anything wrong still he called me.
I subsequently searched this number in the internet and i found a link that this guy/guys has/have been threatening many people link:
These miscreants should be punished. Please suggest a way to post this link to police anonymously to help fellow singaporeans to face these kind of cheap crooks

Do note that the mobile numbers of the tricksters may change. We hope you will just remember that there is this kind of trick and not fall for it in future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gold Jewellery Scam

We have received an email from one of our visitors regarding gold jewellery scams in Singapore. She is currently residing in Europe having spent several years living in Singapore.

Below is the original email, unedited:

I am submitting this report in the hope that I can help others to avoid a particularly well-executed gold jewellery scam which I fell victim to.

Whilst living for several years in Singapore I decided that I would have individual items of white and yellow gold melted down and made into just two pieces. All of my items had sentimental value to me, having been given to me as Birthday / Christmas / Anniversary gifts, but I felt I did not wear them enough and that if they were re-made into just two bangles then I probably would wear them on a daily basis.

Before taking them to a jeweller, I photographed all of the items and weighed them (one of the photographs actually shows some of the items on the scales, being weighed). I then separated the white gold and yellow gold into two envelopes and took them to De Silva Jewellers, 01-18 Tanglin Shopping Centre. I had used De Silva on earlier occasions for small repairs and as he seemed to be a well established and reputable jeweller I took my items to him and asked if he could melt them down and remake them into two bangles of my own designs. I explained that they were all of sentimental value and that I did not want to sell them but felt happy with the idea of having them re-modelled.

He made notes and sketches of the designs I wanted and weighed my gold and issued receipts recording the individual items and their corresponding weight and we agreed a price for carrying out the work (total S$2000).

Over the following weeks I visited De Silva several times to discuss my exact requirements and to ensure that he understood exactly what I wanted him to do, and eventually he informed me that the bangles were ready for collection and I was happy with the design and fit of both and especially happy that they had been made from my original pieces which were of sentimental value to me.

Several months later I popped into De Silva with my husband as he wanted to buy himself a gold chain and whilst there I glanced in a glass display case and to my surprise and shock saw three of my original white gold pieces being offered for sale. How could this be? I had in my possession a white gold bangle made from these very pieces by De Silva. When I challenged De Silva he became very agitated and said that it was normal practice to keep some pieces for re-sale and this was how he made his profits (I would have thought S$2000 would have covered his profits very nicely).

At this point I felt very distressed and left his premises. I then sent De Silva an email communication informing him that I wanted the return of my original pieces and to remove them from his display cabinet immediately and that if I did not hear from him by return I would make a report to the Police. I then returned to his premises and asked for the items. At first he said he no longer had them, then that he had sold them, and finally that if I returned 30 minutes later he would give them back to me.

I did not trust him to keep to his word, so went straight to the Police Office and filed a report. The result of this was that the police confiscated the pieces De Silva had kept and said they would investigate.

Because of what had happened, I looked out my photographs and notes including weights, which I had made prior to taking my items to be melted down, compared them to the receipts De Silva had given me and realised that he had recorded much less than the actual weights I had given him. I thought I had taken all reasonable precautions before handing over my jewellery to him, but I had let him weigh the items on scales which were out of my sight and trusted that the receipts he gave me were a true record and did not at that point compare them with my own notes.

A final twist to this story is that before I realised that I had been defrauded by De Silva I had recommended him to several friends, one of whom decided that she would do the same as I had and took her small gold items to him to be melted down and made into something different. As soon as I realised that I had been defrauded I contacted her and she went immediately to De Silva and took her pieces back (luckily he had not begun the process of melting them down). When she returned home she weighed her gold and then looked at the receipt that De Silva had given to her and saw that he had recorded weights much lower than the actual pieces weighed. At this point we realised that not only was De Silva being dishonest about using customers’ own pieces, which would achieve much more in re-sale terms, but that he was also defrauding them by giving false weights thereby ‘skimming’ gold for his own use.

The friend in question also made a statement to the Police as it was clear that De Silva had also intended to defraud her. The Police informed me that her statement would be used as additional evidence in my case, but that they could not take any action on her behalf as the jeweller had not actually carried out the work.

Time passed and eventually I was informed that no action would be taken against De Silva. Despite all the evidence which I had submitted including photographs, notes, receipts etc., and the additional statement from my friend I was told that the case would be closed. Of course, I am very disappointed by this decision, but I am more baffled than anything. I have asked how the Singapore Judiciary reached their decision but have been told this is ‘confidential information’. I also repeatedly asked what had happened to the confiscated items and only after months of repeatedly asking was I informed that the items were being processed for return to De Silva.

I have now returned to live in Europe and feel very sad that I have such a bad feeling about Singapore. I feel very let down, not only by De Silva but also by the judiciary and I am currently planning to take out civil legal proceedings as I really do not think that this sort of fraud should be allowed to continue unchallenged. I have lost hope of ever getting my lovely pieces returned to me, but I hope at least that my story will make others think very carefully before entering into any similar arrangements with De Silva.

We feel quite disheartened to receive such complaint. Although Scams Singapore is not able to investigate and testify for the scam incident, we do believe such form of gold scams do exist in Singapore - low crime doesn't mean no crime.

People who are being conned by such jewellery shop, please lodge police report in order to prevent such scammers from cheating more people!

Nevertheless, we wish to warn everyone that if you are going to hand over your gold to any jewellery shop, be sure to weigh the gold, take photos and make sure the person who takes over your gold indicates the correct weight on the receipt.