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.     
  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/)
002223872-U
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: 
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/34979.html


There's also more links that was posted on my facebook after that:
This case is even featured on crime watch!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRqOh8Nciwc

http://ngxinzhaomonk.blogspot.sg/2013/05/street-smart-20-advises-to-not-get.html

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.

11 comments:

Rykel said...

I fully understand how you feel brother, because we all have been scammed at one point of our lives and a billionaire advised us to say that we were scammed because we were too greedy (in addition to naive, of course!). Be careful, Singaporeans, especially if you are traveling for the first time... criminals operate in major cities of the world, and crime and con take place almost daily everywhere. Thanks for putting up this report.

JUSTIN said...

Bro, thanks for sharing your story. I am glad someone is not only speaking up but also providing good advice on this issue.

I have been scammed with this DAMN mattress and I know what it's like.

Your experience is an eye-opener to those who have not experienced this. Although some believe they may know better, it is only when this happens do they know.

I have linked your article to the main 'Jade Mattress scam'

Jeannie Phang said...

hi... i got scammed few days back as well and i lost Rm15,000 .. would u pls tell me how i could sell that damn matresses off? pls contact my e-mail.. happy_orange88@hotmail.com

LTS said...

Hi, I got scammed few months back (June 2013), lost RM8,000 and won Kochima Jade mattress. They have my addresses (company address, hometown address and Kl address). I scare they might do something bad to my family. Please tell me what to do because I tore and threw the pink receipt. Please contact my email at lacitirc@hotmail.com.

Anonymous said...

1 Nov 2013
These scam artiste have been spotted at NSK Kuchai Lama, at the car park area.

I spotted 4 of them holding a few lucky draw envelopes. I tried to take pictures but was threatened by them.

I went immediately to NSK security but the scammers had already left. However, a few minutes later I spotted a few of them following me. I alerted security again. They disappeared into a crowd.

The NSK officials then escorted me to my car. On the way, I spotted the scammers again and this time, the security got a hold of them.

I am not sure what happened after that, as I was encouraged to leave by NSK (for my safety). NSK were extremely helpful and very professional.

Z-En said...

Hi. Can I know what happened after that? Did they cause further troubles after that like using your IC for inappropriate purposes? I was also scammed a few days ago, and I'm worried sick that something bad (other than RM3000 lost) will happen. Please help!

Ng Xin Zhao said...

Hi Z-En,

Don't worry, there has been nothing bad that they did to me. Just that a few months ago, they smsed me about the thing. And I replied back:

"Repent your scam before you regret it in old age, may you be well and happy, may you not harm or scam another person again."

Treat this experience as they lessening your previous unwholesome kamma, thus we should be grateful to them. (This is not to encourage them to do it, but to heal our selves from anger and fear.) If we are truly without greed, anger or delusion, we would be untouched by them. But because there is still room for training in loving-kindness, compassion, doing good, renunciation, that one still has not been fully protected by the power of our goodness.

May you be able to change this undesirable event into a teacher for training in developing your wholesome qualities and be well and happy.

Heidi Yacob said...

Hi Ng,

My parents got scammed yesterday amounted RM 19,500.00 and there goes the same useless ,idiot jade mattress. Is that possible to sell the useless thing? They said they want to take the money series no..but the the took the money.Really need your advice on this..after a police report lodged..what else can we do? my parents said to believe the guy that after the mattress sold..he will refund back the money.I told my parents, that 's just a stupid lying promise.I' so worry that the scam group will hunt for my parents to settle the balance.

Ng Xin Zhao said...

Perhaps you should show them this blogpost as well as many others who has the same experience. Have compassion for the scammers rather than fear, because they will get what's coming for them, in this life or the next.

Money can always be regained via hardwork. Train on from now on to focus less on greed and more on donating to charities, then they'll feel less of a fool to have been cheated and still able to have faith in humanity's goodness.

Anonymous said...

My mom just got scammed at Plaza Rakyat LRT station. Approach by some scammer and follow them to shop. We only found out after she came back in a lorry with full of Mitsuyoshi electrical appliances. We question her but seem like her emotion is unstable. Keep saying the mattress c an sell SGD 28k. How to make her cooperate and dispose the junk?

Ng Xin Zhao said...

Show her this? Say this too will pass. Willful ignorance out of greed or attachment to one's perception of being street smart can be strong, but show them many cases, and it's like the case of Kisa Gotami.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kisa_Gotami

After losing her only child, Kisa Gotami became desperate and asked if anyone can help her. Her sorrow was so great that many thought she had already lost her mind. An old man told her to meet Buddha. Buddha told her that before he could bring the child back to life, she should find white mustard seeds from a family where no one had died. She desperately went from house to house, but to her disappointment, she could not find a house that had not suffered the death of a family member. Finally the realization struck her that there is no house free from mortality. She returned to the Buddha, who comforted her and preached to her the truth.