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.

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