In this week’s Scam Case Series, we will be sharing a case involving a twenty two thousand dollar scam. Our client was then working as a Grabcar and Uber driver while the debtor was working as a sales associate with a car rental company. They have both since switched careers to other industries.
Our client first got to know the debtor when he tried to rent a car with the company that the debtor is working for. He was looking to enter the Uber and Grabcar industry, and was introduced to the debtor.
But the relation between our client and debtor was far from healthy. For example, the debtor has taken advantage of our client’s good nature to encourage him to rent higher end cars (like the mid-size to large continental cars) for work. They continue to maintain contact during maintenance cycles and various switches in cars along the way. Through this, the debtor was also able better understand our client, especially in terms of his knowledge of his aspirations and financial situation (which was not exactly in good state).
The debtor has also manipulated our client’s good nature in other ways. For example, he got our client to be his private chauffeur whenever he had to go overseas – sometimes even making our client wake up before dawn to fetch him. But that’s not all. On one occasion, he ‘convinced’ our client to leave the car with him so that he can drive to the airport, and that he will park the car in the airport carpark for our client to collect. This does not make any sense, considering that the car was our client’s work vehicle! Not to mention that the debtor did not even bother to pay for petrol or the carpark. From our client’s point of view, he always saw the debtor as a good friend – even sponsoring an air ticket for debtor, and signing a Singtel handphone line for him.
Eventually, the debtor quit his job with the car rental company and approached our client saying he has a lot of contacts from China, and can ship some goods (home accessories) to sell locally and “earn money together”. Knowing that our client has an easy-going outlook on life, sometimes to his personal detriment, the debtor deliberately got our client to put his entire life savings of twenty two thousand dollars in his “business venture” while promising him that he would be a shareholder.
The debtor even photocopied his IC to show his residential address as a form of goodwill assurance for our client, and inspire greater confidence in their business venture. Except that it was not his real address. Needless to say, the investment failed to materialize. When our client asked for some updates on the state of the venture, the client would deflect these questions by saying the “cargo side” has some difficulty passing China’s custom.
He sent our client some photos of the goods to show that everything is in order. It was only 2 months later that he told our client that the goods have “arrived” but that they cannot be sold, and so our client would not be able to get his money back.
Finding difficulty in getting the debtor to pay up, our client decided to engage us for some professional advice. KX-Unit did an in-depth analysis on the case dynamics and came to a few conclusions. First, if the debtor/scammer truly used the money to get the goods (which he claimed is not sellable), he should be able to at least provide our clients with them and allow our client to find other means to sell them off. If he were unable to do that, and without any good supporting reasons, it would strongly suggest that the debtor had scammed our client.
Even though KX-Unit did not take up the case eventually due to our client’s already piling financial constraints, we gave him some advice on some of his other options. We advised him to seek help from the relevant agencies and government legal authorities (like Legal Aid, Commercial Affairs Department, Magistrate Court, seeking help from his constituency representatives, etc.) Suffice to say that as much as possible we tried to advise our client in terms of his current predicament and constraints.
The advice we provide would depend on a case-by-case basis. We are confident that through our hours of discussion, our client has learnt much about the dangers of trusting others. Especially for a good-natured person, one should always stand guard and remain alert to sweeping friendships and manipulations.
At the end of the day, KX-Unit still holds steadfastly to our creed of quality, transparency and integrity. We do not sugar coat an issue to mislead our clients for business, and we strive to offer our sincere advice as professionals. Ultimately, our client’s best interest is always our foremost and fiercest priority.
We hope you have managed to gain some insights from the SCS article, and would like to extend our professional service to anyone who may be in need. If you are unsure of your predicament and need a professional opinion to guide you, feel free to contact KX-Unit at 8112 7790 or drop us a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com. Alternatively, you can visit our website athttp://www.KX-Unit.com