Scammers and Imposters: NOT WELCOMEDMaintenance & Repair
5 minutes read
Image via: Hackernoon
Scammers are not right in any manner or degree, and hence we must always be on our guard! April Fools' Day may have come and gone, but scammers have no fixed date when it comes to coming out with the latest scam to fool their victims.
A scam or any other fraudulent scheme is designed to trick you into giving away your money, personal details or data. Scammers achieve this by duping their victims with an attractive deal or false information. Unfortunately, by the time the victims realise that they have been scammed, it is usually too late, and the damage has already been done – to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Let’s not get embroiled in the judging of a scammer, instead, for now, let’s equipped ourselves with the scammer's modus operandi and how we can protect our loved ones from these scams.
Types of Scams
According to the information found in the Scam Alert website, there are 24 known types of scams in Singapore. Scam Alert falls under the purview of, ‘The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)’ which happens to be a non-profit organisation that is committed to promoting public awareness and concern about crime and to propagate the concept of self-help in crime prevention.
NCPC comprises representatives from the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as from the public sector and the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Among others, the objectives of the council also include the coordination effort between organisations in preventing crime.
RenoTalk heed this call and would like to highlight on one particular type of scam – The Impersonation Scam!
Image via: NCPC
Over the course of the past couple of weeks, RenoTalk has come to learn of a recurring scam that has shown its obnoxious self yet again. The fraud in question involves a 56-year old man who posed as a Housing Development Board (HDB) contractor and asked residents to pay deposits for supposedly ‘repair works’.
On the 2nd of April, the police issued a statement informing that a 56-year-old man was arrested for his suspected involvement in a series of cheating cases. Preliminary investigations revealed that the man was neither authorised nor appointed by HDB for such works. In the same statement, the police also reminded members of the public to be vigilant and wary of persons who may be posing as HDB-appointed contractors.
“As a Safety Precaution,
Know Your Precautionary Measures”
HDB’s infoweb advised residents to be very careful when they are approached by individuals who claim to provide repair services on HDB’s behalf. In an impersonation scam, it usually takes form in someone impersonating to be an official from a government agency. As per the case above, the perpetrator impersonated the role of an HDB officer.
Operating similarly as the above case, these contractors would go from door-to-door and will attempt to cheat residents without the intention to carry out the repair services – For example, the replacement of bin chute hopper or the installation of laundry racks. Contractors claimed that they are from HDB and their products are HDB-approved – When in fact, neither of this is true.
HDB officers are issued with a staff card with their photograph as a form of identification. If a resident is approached by anyone claiming to be representatives from HDB, they can request for the staff card for verification purpose. Residents should never allow anyone into their flat if they failed to furnish proper identification.
On top of all these measures, HDB will also inform affected residents if there are maintenance or rectification works to be carried out. Residents can expect to be notified in advance through official HDB’s circulars or notices on their respective block’s notice board.
Knowledge is Power
Scammers are opportunists; they tend to cast a wide net in their criminal activities and those who fall prey as victims are those that respond to them. They are always on the look-out for the gullible few who are positively responsive to their tactics.
These scammers target specific weaknesses; thus it is not unsurprising that older adults are targeted explicitly, as this group of demographics are disproportionately vulnerable to fraud. The scammers will exploit the elderly lack of knowledge, their isolation and possibly even their slower mental reflexes.
However, this does not mean that scammers cannot be stop at their tracks and if you are reading this, do realise that you have a huge part to play.
Continuously remind your elderly relatives that they should ignore such scammers if they are approached when they are alone at home during the day. And do lodge a police report immediately if they have been cheated, threatened or harassed by these scammers.
No one is above the law, and no one deserves to get scam!
In retrospect, it is best to secure the services of trusted and reliable contractors to complete renovation works in your flat. By all means, engage their services no matter how minor your household repairs might be.
At RenoTalk, we encouraged property owners like you and me to talk and participate in everything concerning renovation. We sourced dependable renovation materials and honest designers and contractors, and we championed the seamless connection between brands owners, suppliers, interior designers, contractors and property owners.
We do this because, in the grand scheme of things, the people at RenoTalk do not want to be scammed, and just like you, we are property owners too.
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