My mother always used to tell me this: “Never, ever lose your IC, or you might just see loan sharks coming after you with knives one day.”
I would always laugh at her, pointing my fat, twiddly finger at her and saying, “Mum, you’re so lame. What are the chances of that ever happening?”
Fast forward 17 years, and I came across this.
Here’s what she has written:
As you’ve seen the straits times news, many people have been scammed on carousell & facebook for buying the halloween horror USS tickets and unfortunately, one of them used my lost ic as ‘proof’ to assure their customers that they arent cheating their money & after the bank transfer, they ran away with the money and the buyer was left with a blocked number.
There has been 2 groups of people who had came up to me telling me that someone impersonated me + send this picture with only the front of my ic to assure them.
Please do note that ive lost my ic last year and have already made a new one issued this year (2017), so if you are purchasing from this individual who send u this picture, please request for a back pic to check the date of issue.
* Additionally, i am NOT selling any USS tickets so if anyone show u this IC please DO NOT BUY and immediately call the police as i dont know who else/ how much has this person scammed.
Information from the buyers: the person has most probably changed her number and her carousell account has been suspended so there’s no way to track her.
Also, if anyone knows/ seen anyone possessing this IC, please report as well, thanks!!!!
*contact me @mandybrielx (instagram)/ dm me thru fb / comment if you have any other news/info
****PLEASE PLEASE SHARE THIS AROUND thank you!!!
Well, how do I put this?
What exactly happened?
According to the Straits Times, Ms Mandy Teo had been the victim of identity theft. She had lost her identity card last year, and replaced it early this year.
Just last week, the psychological science undergraduate had gotten a rude shock when a friend informed her “that a scammer has been using her lost IC multiple times to sell entry tickets.”
Apparently, her friend’s acquaintance had been one of the victims.
How did the fraudster work?
The scammer had combed for victims on Carousell and Facebook, and used Ms Teo’s IC as a form of identity verification.
Once the fund transfer was completed, however, the culprit will do a Houdini and vanish off the face of the Earth. All contact is rendered negligible.
A woman turned up on Ms Teo’s doorstep, asking her for tickets
On Tuesday (10 October 2017), a woman had visited Ms Teo’s Pasir Ris home, requesting for tickets that she had paid $250 for.
“She said this was the address given to her by the scammer and she had already transferred the money,” said Ms Teo. Her parents had answered the door at that time as she was not at home.
There were four other victims who have since reached out to her, including one who had paid about $325.
Ms Teo was understandably troubled about it. She said: “I felt that it was very unfair (to me) as I did not do this, but my IC was (being used) everywhere.”
She has since filed a police report on 10 October 2017.
If there’s any consolation, the scammer’s Carousell account has been reported and suspended.
Even so, she’s still worried that the scammer might be using her identity under another account.
Scam cases are on the rise
Unfortunately, the world isn’t all My Little Ponies and Teletubbies, as there’s quite a fair number of scam cases.
In fact, between 2012 and 2016, an average of 32,000 people a year have reported losing their ICs. This is according to figures by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Early this month, the police declared that there was a rise in USS Halloween ticket scams this year, with victims incurring losses of $21,500 so far.
There were at least 35 reports of such online purchase scams between Aug 30 and Sep 29, as compared to the 30 cases in 2016.
According to the Straits Times, “cases of identity theft usually fall under cheating or offences under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act. Singaporeans are required to report the loss of their ICs and apply for a replacement card personally at the ICA Building within 14 days.”
Moral of the story
Honestly, the loss of one’s IC could have led to way more dire consequences.
Example: someone could have headed to a loan shark and used the IC as collateral.
Someone could have sold it to a wanted convict, who proceeds to use it to bypass security barriers.
Heck, there are even worse ones out there that I will decline to mention, because Goody Feed’s content is slapped with a Parental Guidance tag.
But I’m sure you get what I mean: people can do all kinds of bad stuff with your identity card. Case in point, Ms Mandy Teo here
Now, I’m not saying that Ms Teo lost her IC because she’s sloppy, or because of some derogatory, generic reason like having to help her grandma carry groceries and having her IC stealthily pick-pocketed.
I do not know the circumstances under which she had lost it, and as such I can’t judge.
BUT, your identity card is arguably your most valuable possession. Aside from your body parts and underwear.
So keep it with you at all times, and NEVER lose it.
Or you might just end up like Ms Teo, suffering in silence for an act that could have been preventable.
You know what to do: strive to end up with Ms Teo, not end up like Ms Teo.
Get what I mean?
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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Featured Image: Mandy Teo (Facebook)