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.


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