There are plenty of scams happening in Singapore: from fake police calls to people posing as officials, there is plenty to be wary of in Singapore.
And the latest (well-known) scam to happen in our little red dot is the hawker scam.
Conman Posed as Shin Min Food Editor Selling Advertisement Packages
What will you do if you’re a hawker, and someone approached you saying that he’s a food reporter with Shin Min?
Then, he lures you in by saying he’ll do a free interview the next day and told you to prepare three dishes. A free review in the newspapers? Hell, yeah!
The next day, he arrived alone and started selling his newspaper’s “advertorial packages”. He even says that for $2,900, you can get advertising in newspapers, magazines and online for three years!
And if you don’t have the cash, he’ll bring the fee down for you, saying that it’s just $500 for 3 months.
Considering how much you typically have to pay for a space in the newspaper (it’s in the thousands for one small space), it’s sounds like a good deal.
He applies pressure by saying he has 170 other stalls to interview, and you’re one that he specially picked from the list.
Most likely, you’ll pay, right?
That was what happened to the hawker of Pek Kio Seafood Delights stall. She paid $500 to the man, and couldn’t contact him after.
Both Shin Min and the hawker, identified as Mrs Chen, made a police report against the man.
Shin Min has also posted a warning on Facebook and clarified that the man is not an editor with the newspaper. They warned other hawkers against falling for the same scam.
Man Allegedly Scammed 31 Other Hawkers
After the conman was revealed to the public, it was found that he has been targeting hawkers from Serangoon Gardens, Chinatown and Hougang.
He even set up a website and food blog, called Malaysia Best, to appear more convincing to the hawkers.
It was reported on Stomp that the website has been operating since 2012 but only started publishing food reviews on Singapore food stalls in October 2016.
The man had registered his website business in Malaysia back in July 2012. He set up another company in Singapore in 2016.
Why would people be taken in by such scams?
Now, while we’re waiting for further information on the case, let us stop and think for a moment.
Reportedly, there were 31 other hawkers who were scammed as well.
But how could they fall for it? Isn’t it, like, suspicious from the start? He didn’t show official credentials FFS!
But you got to know this. When you look at it from the outside, the entire situation seems dubious as hell but it might be a different story when you’re within the scam.
Also add in the fact that F&B business, especially the hawker centres, are very competitive.
So you can’t blame the hawkers for trying everything they can to survive in this harsh industry, right?
For example, Pek Kio Hawker Centre was closed back in May 2016 due to an outbreak of stomach flu in the area. The hawkers reported seeing up to 70% lesser customers in the food centre after the incident.
But here’s the rule of the thumb: if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
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Here are some articles about other scams you should be wary of:
- PSA: New Paypal Scam in S’pore. Here’s What You Should Know
- Got a Call from SIA That You’ve Won Air Tickets? It’s a New Scam
Feature Image: todayonline.com / stomp.straitstimes.com
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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