Think out of the box.
While we scoff at the oft-repeated metaphor, one particular woman decided to take the metaphor and run with it.
A woman scammed 13 people of more than $196K by taking bogus orders for luxury goods.
Giving credit where credit is due, well, we suppose that she did think out of the box.
Here’s what happened.
Taking Orders With No Intention to Deliver
On Thursday (8 Dec), Siti Norashikin Azmi, 34, was sentenced to 33 months’ jail after pleading guilty to five counts of cheating. Eight similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Siti has made restitution of more than $16,000 to four victims.
Her crime? She concocted a luxury goods scam whereby she essentially took bogus orders for discounted luxury goods.
Siti was formerly a sales associate at Gucci between August 2018 and June 2019. She saw the opportunity for her new “enterprise” to arise in December 2019, when a former colleague shared with her a list of Gucci’s past season items that were being sold at a price cut.
Regardless of whether it was in the spirit of friendship or entrepreneurship, Siti then forwarded the list of luxury goods to her friends.
And in true kiasu Singaporean spirit, who could possibly turn down a discount? Further, this discount was on Gucci items.
Her friends sent in their orders to Siti, who took down these orders and took payment upfront.
The catch? Siti had no intention to deliver the goods at all.
Over $196K Scammed Between 2019 and 2021
The 34-year-old then got to work preparing her own lists of purported discounted goods for other luxury brands.
Diversification, if you may.
To appeal to the Singaporean eye, Siti included brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes.
And in a calculated move to further appeal to the kiasu Singaporean, she told her patrons that each item was being offered at a 70 per cent discount.
You read that right. 70 per cent.
Siti had something to show for it too, making her scam believable. She had receipts.
While she may have worked formerly at Gucci, by then, she was working as an administrative assistant at the Duty Free Shop (DFS) in Changi Airport. That means Siti had access to staff-issued receipts—lots of them.
She sent her patrons copies of receipts matching their orders.
When Siti’s actions finally came to the attention of DFS Changi Airport, they terminated her employment in July or August 2020.
However, even after the termination of her employment at DFS Changi Airport, Siti remained relentless and kept her scam running.
The Grind Continues
If only the illegality element was taken out of this story, it would have been a perfect fit for a MyCareersFuture anecdote…
Just imagine it: A entrepreneurial woman thinking out of the box to start her very own enterprise, refusing to wave the white flag in spite of the spate of challenges facing her.
Unfortunately, Siti is a scammer…
In September 2020, she managed to dupe yet another victim. This time, a 32-year-old, Muhammad Imran Sumarli, whom she met on a dating app.
Tinder users, it’s time to start looking out not just for catfishes, but luxury goods scammers as well.
Siti led Mr Imran to order multiple Gucci bags and wallets as well as a Chanel bag and swindled $8,890 from Mr Imran for the purchase.
The same month, she also deceived Mr Imran’s cousin, Mr Muhammad Farhan Johan.
Mr Farhan, having sight of a photo of Siti’s airport staff pass which she had sent to him, was led to believe that Siti was employed at DFS Changi Airport at the time of the incident.
As such, he placed a large order on behalf of his family and friends, ordering items from Gucci, Louis Vuitton and even Dior.
Siti received a total of $116,344 from Mr Farhan.
Perhaps not all good things should be shared with your family and friends after all…
Both Mr Imran and Mr Farhan made their payments to Siti via bank transfer.
Up to 10 Years’ Jail for Cheating
Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng said that Siti had used a portion of the money earned via the scam to repay her outstanding credit card bills.
DPP Heng sought 33 to 37 months’ jail for Siti, given that Siti’s scams were quite protracted and that there was deliberate deception and premeditation.
Siti, who was unrepresented, tendered a mitigation letter and apologised for her actions. She also requested a deferment of her sentence to 16 Jan, which is after her son’s school term commences.
For cheating, an offender can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.
And the Luxury Goods Scam Saga Continues…
This scam appears to be the latest in a string of recent scams related to luxury goods.
Earlier, we heard about the fugitive couple that cheated Tradenation and Tradeluxury customers of $32 million.
You can watch this video to find out more:
Subsequently, we also saw another case where a local luxury bag reseller, WestCloset, was accused of failing to deliver to customers the luxury bags which they have already paid for.
With the increasing ubiquity of scams in recent times, it won’t be a surprise if we start seeing quirky tracks about staying alert to scams being put out by the government soon.
For now, let’s all remember to stay safe from scams to remain vigilant.
And think twice if your Bumble date starts sending you lists of discounted luxury items.
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