Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Street-smart, 21 advises to not get scammed.

It's been a few days, let's recall the lessons that I had learned and analyse this further.
Please read this first for the following advise to make sense.
Also other links for these cases:
Also please help to sign this: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/34979.html

First up, RUN
There maybe chemicals that are odorless and transparent, that makes people susceptible to suggestions, or hypnosis masters, who easily control those who were not focused. (I was busy thinking about gaming and getting back home as soon as possible). So first line of defense and the best line of defense against scamming is: Don't stop, don't even look, don't receive anything and run. 

Second, Don't get adventurous
Susceptibility to double thinking and adventure. I was thinking of having an adventure and have an innately natural tendency to trust people. So, when strangers say they are not scamming me, or that they hail a taxi to get me away, I shouldn't just entertain (not even half or less) any notion of them being true to their word. I admit there was some part of me who wants to seek adventure, that's why I followed them, but the potential loss of wealth is too great, too expensive. So don't. Don't get adventurous on these dangerous missions, get adventurous on trips to mountain climbing with Rovers, but not on possible scam syndicates! 

Third, Read the signs and follow them.
There are clear, big signs in front of City square about beware of scratch and win scams. Two thoughts cross my mind when I saw it: the opening of the red lucky draw thing is not "scratching". It is opening. That's just small details, not worth it to ignore. Second thought, I should just ditch this thing, I'm in a rush. Then the promoters surrounding me said sweet words: we do things under the sun light, most people win cars, our employer put this up one, we are younger than you, so "big brother" me... Still should had just tore the lucky draw thing in two in front of them and throw it to them. If they get violent, yell for help and police.

Actually, if you fail to follow the previous steps, you most likely would get conned already, but anyway I shall still highlight the remaining possibility go get out of the scam in case you regain awareness at any stage then.

Fourth, Don't follow strangers into a Taxi
They said it's just 5 minutes, I offered to walk there, but then it got longer than 5 minutes even with taxi, and they asked me to pay somemore. So first thing first, if they asked you to go somewhere, you make them pay first, if they come out with some lame excuses, drop them off and get the taxi to go to elsewhere. 

Fifth, Once you catch any contradiction, don't ever trust them.
They said no need to fill in forms or any details, just win only. Then at the office, they gave me a form to fill up in case I won before. (In case I got cheated before and now come back as undercover to exert revenge.) A real business man does not need to cover up lies with lies. 

Sixth, Don't fill in any form, just leave.
Also don't give them your IC, passport or let them see your debit card, credit card etc... 

Seventh, Do not trust the pictures if they show them.
It's too easy to fake stuffs, certificate of business premises, etc... especially if they show it to you voluntarily. There's such a thing as photoshop too.

Eighth, Be alert for names.
A true professional business is not afraid of saying the company's name, and having cross checking. I think I saw different company names, and the bosses didn't introduce themselves properly too. As well as do google immediately the names of the company, test them about it, and even google scratch and win thing to make sure you can find similar cases to what you're in now. I had the disadvantage of not having smartphones or 3 or 4G connection.

Ninth, Be very suspicious of people handing you their IC/ valuables.
This is usually the move that others use to promote trust and then they will get it back because the victim is generally a nice person. 

Tenth, When you hear about the need to pay first to get to open up and find out what you win, RUN! 
Don't just sit there and make lame excuses like I need to rush back, just say I'm not paying/nor standbys nor anything.

Eleventh, GST has not been implemented in Malaysia. Catch that and RUN! 
Seriously, don't give them any details anymore, just go.

Twelfth, Don't tell them what bank you use nor the amount you have in the bank nor your job nor how long have you worked. 
With these information, even indirect telling like I got up to this amount in bank, qualify for how many years of insurance for the car, don't even reveal the no. of years for the car. This is where they adjust the details of how much they can safely cheat you out of. So the amount of money to standby really depends on what information you give them. 

Thirteenth, Don't fall into any greed nor logical trap nor time trap.
I was ready to leave by the time I knew about the standbys of money. They kept on saying that it's still my money, just need to copy down the serial no. of the cash. I said I need to rush, then they trapped me by saying that I might not have worked that much of amount of money even for 40 years. At that time, I had no intention to get rich in the long term, so I fell into the logical trap. In truth, it's easy and fast to earn and save up and invest up to even the top prices of RM 100,000, because you work in Singapore and have good financial advises, know how to invest properly and know how to save. It's an insult to you if they ever say that.

Fourteenth, Don't give them your receipt if you go and withdraw the money anyway. 
Also be suspicious when they use a female to count your money instead of a counting machine which is on their desk outside! Don't let someone else write down the serial no. of your cash too, not even if it's a female youngster! You can do it yourself! 

Fifteenth, Don't sign anything that you don't get a copy of. 
They let me sign a copy that assures me that if I don't win a price there's a compensation value of RM 24,000 (they used $, must be easier for the Singaporean people they are trying to cheat), and 3 free prices. The document states that you're to pay RM____ for opening the secret price, then are to accept whatever gifts they had inside without refund. So this also makes the victim vulnerable and susceptible to believe that they are real and that the lucky draw thing contains other no.s other than no. 7, the jade mattress. 

Sixteenth, You're not a superhero.
You don't have superpowers, nor Batman's training. So don't think that you can fight them, outsmart them in their lying game, or have gadgets to track them down.  

By this stage, after you had handover the money, you're already duped, nothing else you can do but to move on, because the police is useless.

Seventeenth, Don't believe in their "newspaper", it can be faked too. 
Seventeenth, A Hand-phone no. is not enough to guarantee that they will truly sell the mattress and give you the money. You should call the cops by now. Don't get distracted by their free gift. 

Eighteenth, Make a police report immediately.
 Tell your taxi driver to change direction midway if needed to the nearest police station and ask them for cooperation to storm the place. Yet by the simple fact that they're still there after all these years since 2011, having the same, predictable, known place of operation (City Square mall), you can conclude that the police is under their pay too. So, the police report saves you from future trouble, but don't expect them to help you get your money back. Corrupt police still haven't called me. I mean how hard can it be to send an undercover plainclothesman to their office and raid it? Money hard.

Nineteenth, Share your experience.
If you ever come to this stage already, then my sharing of experience had failed, and maybe you shouldn't bother with it too. There will always be naive, stupid people who hadn't got scammed before and will be scammed. Good luck.

Twentieth, Don't trust strangers in general.  
Ok not so much on losing faith in humanity, but losing nativity which is a willful ignorance of the fact that there are people out there who are not afraid and will do bad stuffs. Don't trust door to door salesman, people giving flyers, people working in a lucky draw or scratch (or open or anything else) and win thing that you didn't signed up for. Free lunch is found in NUS, not in JB nor elsewhere in general. Still don't be bad to all strangers, do lend help etc... but once they asks for money, freeze up and don't trust them.

Twenty first, After you got scammed,
It seems that these post attract people who got scammed more than those who had not. So here's a short sharing on what I told someone who got scammed. He/she was worried that the scammers has his/her address.

First off, since they cheat you off that much and you got the mattress, there's no reason to panic. They're just keeping your records in their system incase someone else in their network happen to cheat you again. So all this means is that you cannot become an undercover cop and provide the same details to them again to bust them. 

Other than that, you're ok. Do you have any idea how many people keeps getting conned all the time? They have no time to threaten old customers. Relax. Just be sure that when you save someone else from being conned by them on the road next time, please do not follow them (in case they beat you up), call the police if possible, and don't give face to them, run and stay at safe distance then call the police. 

You can also go to this 
website and make a complain. I dunno if it does any good. 
And tell your friends and family how not to get conned, put in a police report to protect you in case they photocopied your IC, and....be more street smart, do good in the world and be thankful that the bad guys are lowering your bad kamma. 

I think it's better to tell your family and friends about it as they
are also potential victims. It is better to have their defence
increased instead of one day, one of them got scammed and then found
out that you got scammed too and you didn't tell him/her.

So please share it with your loved ones the story as detailed as
possible instead of a casual "be more careful". You can show them this
blogpost too, and the next one.

For me, my "face" is not as important as for them to be safe from
scammers. And it's not shameful to share that you got scammed, be
motivated by love and concern for your friends.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

I got scammed

The following is a police report typed on the night after I got scammed. Do take the time and effort to read this. Because like you, I knew all the advices and precaution, but I was still too naive (more naive than greed), so please don't let this happen to you. Especially Malaysians in Singapore and Singaporeans travelling in Johor. 

On the 24th May 2013, I, Ng Xin Zhao, aged 24 was on the way to City Square, Johor Bharu, at 12:30pm when I rejected the first offer of something by a youngster.  Then the second person give me the same thing. Apparently, it’s an “open and see” lucky draw red packet. There was a lot of people suddenly surrounding me, about 10 of them, all of them seems so excited and eager to see what price I won. Apparently it’s not a “Thank You” note, thus I won something. Inside it, there was another packet, a smaller one that they asked me not to open. It’s supposed to have details of which prize was it.
I was on the rush to go back to Petaling Jaya, to celebrate Vesak Day with my family, yet they said that it’s just a 5 minutes trip from City Square, and another one of their friends was already getting a Taxi to go to their office after I inquired where is their office. Then I offered the winning back to them. They said they cannot take the lucky draw prize. I caught a glimpse of some more opened thank you red cards. It seems ok then, to see that not all people will automatically win this thing.
I was still disinterested in the price and didn’t care if I didn’t get it. Then they still went on and described the details of the prizes and how if I won a car, they offered a car insurance to me for free. Then they asked what type of banks do I have and what amount are in them. It’s a suspicious move and I was not inclined to tell them.  They said that two of them will get a RM 6000 commission if I happened to win a car. They even showed photos and quotes some newspaper about famous people who won their prizes.
Included in the famous people list are: Singapore Actress who starred in Phua Chu Kang, police chief inspector etc…. I just offered them the red winning card due to rushing of time, which they declined to get and then I asked them to just take me to where their office is.
On the way, he introduced himself as someone from Perak and aged 19, so he called me “khor khor”, a Chinese name for big brother as I revealed my age to be 24 years old. He kept on explaining the details of the prize, saying that the secret opening red packet within the red packet is meant to be in the office. I inquired why did it took so long to reach it, when he promised the trip to be only 5 minutes. I did asked if we can just walked there instead, in the end I took the risk of being kidnapped to just find out how does this scheme works.
Then he replied that it’s to avoid a traffic congested area. I neglected to ask the driver about this. It seems suspicious now that I recall that the other person who sat in front of the taxi was silent the whole time with the driver.  When we reached the place, I recall seeing aeon, jaya jusco near the corner, and some shops and coffee places. I was surprised that they asked me to pay the taxi fare, which amounted to RM 13. Then they bring me upstairs to their office. The staircase was undecorated, but was just beside the Malay food shop. The office is at level 2, immediately obvious from the decoration from Chinese new year. My thought was that it was queer that the decorations are still there after 3 months.
Once inside, the first thing that they did was to congratulate me. The two Chinese boy, both 19 years old who brought me there told me that their supervisor was a Malay. I know how to listen to Malay, but I’m not good at conversing in Malay. They then ushered me into a room, with its dark coated glass. Later during the long 2 hour conversation with them, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm, I ventured out to see their reception place to see very unprofessional surroundings. There was a clerk who did most of their job of copying people’s IC and getting the receipts of the bank withdrawal that we made. There was a money counter machine and loads of photos of certification of documents that’s supposed to show that their company is legal.
There were also photos of the previous winners on the walls, showing and advertising the winners and their winnings, most of them are cars. I also saw a dog in a cage, CCTV, lots of people in casual clothing. I estimate that there were about 10 people in the office. A female clerk in her 30s, 2 male “bosses” in their 40s, 2 aged 19 male boys who took me there, about 3 young girls at the back. They seem to be slacking around and playing with the dog, making it look like a family setting.
After I was ushered into the room, some of them went out and do some work, supposedly to prepare my prizes. Then the Malay boss who didn’t introduce his name explained to me again that the procedure is this:
  1. The person is to give their name, IC, telephone no. and address for them to check if they had won the lucky draw before. I gave them mine, including my Singapore handphone and address.
  2.   The person is to standby a cash of RM12300 for the tax, GST, service charge and etc… for the prizes that we win. There was even a form to copy down the serial no. of the money that we were supposed to show them. So in short, they tried very hard to find out how much I have in my banks, then when I said that I didn’t had enough money in my Malaysian bank, they phoned DBS bank in Singapore for me to enable overseas withdrawal. They gave a “discounted” assurance price of RM 6300, about half of the previous amount, saying that the other people who won (117 prizes, about 80 of them won). I said that I was only willing to standby an amount of RM 10, which they said it is rejected. Then somehow the amount we settled on was RM 3000.
  3. Then the person can open up the secret thing inside the winning red packet and see what they won. No. 1 to 3 are cars, no. 4 is a TV, a lot of no. are blacked out including 5, 8 until 14. No. 7 is a jade mattress, no. 15 to 17 are free travel arrangements to Japan, Australia, and another place. All of them have prices besides their products ranging from RM 100,000+ for the Toyota cars, to RM 28,800 for the jade mattress. If we won the travel arrangements we can exchange that for cash. The car, they will show within 15 minutes of scratching, but just the jade mattress, they need time to help me to sell. They talked as if most people would win the cars, I for one didn’t want the car because it’ll take more time. In the end, I got no. 7, which they put on a show that maybe it’s 17, then I can get the cash, pretending to scratch the thing just a space before 7, when there is no silver coating to scratch away because it was a packet that is opened by tearing off the edges. Before giving me the option to open it, they asked me to sign a form saying in Malay, English and Chinese that the person scratching cannot exchange their winnings for cash money, and devoted RM ____ (mine was 3000) to them as advanced cash fee, which is non-refundable, and that only the travel arrangements was exchangeable by cash. 
  4. A quick search online shows that there are other people also having similar experiences, winning exactly the same thing, a jade mattress. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/9/southneast/12537881&sec=
  5.     Then they will bring the winnings to the winner. I saw the jade mattress almost immediately, suspicious and strange. If they did have the prices here already, why go through all these trouble?  They were also eager to keep me in the dark coated glass wall room and not in their main reception area.

The interesting thing is that they said that the standing by of cash is mine, they just wanted to see it. I gave them the cash and then opened the secret red packet, won the mattress, and get Micheal Chin (which apparently has another name called Tan Hen Yong, one of the two youngster who brought me there) to find a buyer.

 Another part where they gain my trust is their eager offer of their IC for me to safe keep during the trip where they took me to Ambank around 2:30pm to withdraw the money.  Then they cooked up an excuse saying that they need back their IC for commission purposes. There was a lot of paper work with minimum names. In the end all I got was a free gift from Mitsuyoshi , a multi cooker which cost about RM 100 and I brought it all the way back to Petaling Jaya, and a receipt.

The receipt says the cooker cost RM 3000, and a jade mattress on hold of RM 6300, which they say I cannot take it back because I still have RM 3300 on hold. The person Micheal Chin or Tan Hen Yong is supposed to come to MidValley Megamall on the 25th May to meet the buyer of the jade mattress who offered RM 20,000 for one jade mattress. He went out and came back to tell me that the buyer is willing to buy 2 jade mattress for RM 45,000 instead, I said no, I’m not buying another one to sell like that. Interestingly, they let me off on that easily. Maybe it’s because the RM 3000 is already in their hands.

So after selling the mattress, I was supposed to give the remaining amount of the RM 9300 (RM 12300-3000), to them and another RM 700 as commission for the two young boy, and the remaining RM 10,000 is mine.

The details for Tan Hen Yong are as following:
940606-08-6583 Tel no.: 013-6739839, 016-7153284
The detail of the buyer is, name: Mr. Ong, tel no.: 019-7191590

Details of the company are:
Name: Visdynamics Marketing (I cannot find this online, it’s another company based in Melaka http://www.vis-dynamics.com/v2/)
Address: no.8-09, Jalan 2/10 Jalan Permas Jaya, BDR, Baru Permas Jaya, J. Bahru.

Other than the loss of RM 3000, taxi fare of RM 13+23 (going to Larkin), and giving them my IC for them to photocopy, my name, IC, tel no. and address in Singapore and receipts of my withdrawal from my DBS bank, there is a possibility that they may use my IC to borrow money or do some other harm. Hence this report.

It would be nice for me to have a police escort to meet them at the mall.

Update: Neither the scammer nor the police inspector in JB has called me yet after one day. This is kinda disappointing. I was instructed not to talk to the scammer as they might trap me and ask for more money again. The police might be seen as doing nothing to stop this crime as it was know to be operational at the same place since December 2012. Please share and spread this out for awareness sake!

P.S.Please help to sign this too: 

There's also more links that was posted on my facebook after that:
This case is even featured on crime watch!


And those of you who wants to post that I'm an idiot on the comment, please remember that you're only reading this because I do not want this to happen to you, as I thought I'm immune to this too. Don't overestimate your street-smartness. And don't spit at those who give advise from experience and out of kindness.

Monday, May 06, 2013

A superhero response to malaysia's election results

 BN won in Malaysia election again, with more than half in numbers of Malaysians voting against them. Many would feel anger and disappointment now. Including me. Yet, I recall to mind that anger is using other's wrong doings to punish ourselves. 

What would a superhero do? Here's what: BN, your own karma would catch up with you, and all those who participated in the corruption and cheating to let you win unfairly. I, as a silver medalist of malaysia representative in 2008 international physics Olympiad do not have the confidence for you to rule. 

Yet, I would urge all who feel the same to not do anything drastic, don't do anything criminal, or harmful to yourself to them or to our country. Just know that next election, there's the people who signed up for elections late (2013) there's a whole new 5 year batch of youngests who's very dissatisfied on Facebook. There's still the support of overseas Malaysian voters, even more, as those who didn't vote this time will want to vote next time. 

So keep on living our lives, be vigilant against corruption and cheating, be aware of the gangsters that rule our country and know that they will reap their owni karma, we need not be the punisher. We are instead superheroes like superman, knowing that truth will win. Declare on your own, for yourself, the content of this message too. 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

My voting experience

Today is 5th may 2013, the election date of Malaysia. It's about 1pm now, and I came back from Singapore to Melaka just to vote. Being a first time voter, and one of the few in SPS to come back to vote, I've written some of the experience on site.

On the line to Taman Kasturi I. MELAKA on 10:30am in the morning. The line is shorter thanI thought, Only about 100-200 people. There was a conversation happening behind me. From there I got the rumor that a left handed person requested that his/her right hand to be marked with indelible ink, but was not approved. Some people noticed that their ballot paper was marked, but the request to change was met with someone assuring that they didn't cheat one... Note these are just rumors I heard.

Lining up under the shade of trees is nice. There's 4 staffs in the initial phase, checking the IC and giving people their lines. There are 4 unmarked lines. The same people who were conversing behind me, one of them having voted very early in the morn, and his friend queuing up behind me, said that he lined up wrongly due to the unmarked line and had wasted 1 hour lining up again. Now it's 10:50am.

I got into the area for voting, it's a small place, actually a centre in the town, with a playground just outside. There were police there too, helping in lining people up. When I am in, another conversation started behind me. A female voter said that she registered to vote in melaka despite staying in Selangor to switch melaka to the Pakatan rakyat side. She said that there ions 2 times she voted in melaka, there were not so many people, the voting process is much faster.

Well, I was expecting more people and 5-6 hours of waiting, so the line seems short to me.

Then came for the time for me to vote. The police officer outside told me to leave my water bottle out, the reason, asked by the female voter behind me, was to avoid wetting the ballot papers. I entered, with tissue in one hand and my IC in another. Then I gave the first clerk my identification card, the second marked my left index finger, the third gave me 2 ballot paper, clean as it is, one for the state another for the parliament of  the country. I came to the back of the voting place, there's 2 of the place, with multiple black ball pen and 3 sides covered up. Stricter than any exam I've seen. Well, I took my time and saw the not BN symbol there and put a neat cross beside it.  Both of the ballot paper. No idea who the candidates are anyway.

The female behind me had finished putting her votes into the clear box in the middle of the centre, and I was just starting to fold the 2 ballot papers into half. I was glad that it was colour coded so that I know which paper goes into which transparent box. Then I'm out. Seriously, nothing special.

I was hoping for a longer line so that me preparations can be used, but all well, i 50 mins, I've finished voting. Then I went back to try to wash the ink on my hand. It came off a bit, not that easy to clear it all off. Washed with soup a bit and then it got lighter. Looking atmy families case, it is safe to say that the claim of indelible ink which cannot be washed away for days is untrue. But to be fair, we should try putting permanent marker ink on the other hand after we voted and try to wash that off as hard too. To compare the quality of the ink used in the election.

  I should be going back now to help lookout for foreign voters who were given malaysian Identification Card just a few days ago to mess with malaysia's election process.

The news in Malaysia had BN denied that they were foreign voters, yet more and more evidences keep on floating up on Facebook.
See ya.