As safe as Singapore is, you ought to also be wary of scams in Singapore. It’s more common than you think. Stay up to date and be careful!
Singapore has always ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. In 2017, World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked it the 7th safest country in the world with a 6.45 rating.
This means Singaporeans can largely go around the country without worrying for their safety or security. Leave a diamond ring on the table of a public place and the chances of you losing it might be quite low.
But that doesn’t mean Singapore is totally free from crime. In fact, there are quite a number of organised crimes like scams going around.
Scams in Singapore? Yup, there are actually quite a lot of scams in Singapore that Singaporeans fall for.
Be wary of these scams in Singapore:
1. Home/Room Rental Scam
This is a very common scam in Singapore. You will find many ads promoting rooms and homes for rent. It actually looks legitimate. You contact the landlord and you discuss the terms. You agree on it. The landlord asks for two months rent as deposit.
The first month’s rent paid upfront and the other month’s rent as a refundable deposit upon completion of the lease term. It seems fair and you agree to pay it. The landlord sends you bank details and you make payment. Then you never hear from the landlord again.
How to avoid this: Always meet up with the landlord and ask to view the room before committing to anything. Transact with cash at least for the first payment and only once you have the keys in hand.
2. Investment scams
For some, it is easy to spot an investment scam a mile away. But sometimes, it isn’t as clear-cut. Of course, many things that promise high returns tend to be scams (which are played off as high-risk). These “online pro traders” will promise you big things like 2-3 times profits in a week.
You might be drawn in by their sweet talk and big dreams, but this is all a scam. Once you release your funds to these people, you will never hear from them again. One man transferred S$85,000 to a scammer and shared his story on Scam Alert SG. Don’t make the same mistake.
How to avoid this: Be vigilant by always asking for black and white documentation. Consult a lawyer friend or a financial advisor if need be. The best thing to do is to go through legal channels and obtain your investments directly from financial institutions.
3. Job scams
At first it may seem innocent and legitimate. It always starts off that way. You are looking for a side job or perhaps a job where you can work from home or on your own time. Then you find something that seems too good to be true (which normally is).
They tell you that you can earn $1,000 working from home with minimal effort. Some might even convince you to meet up with them. These are all classic telltale signs that you are about to be conned into the latest MLM (multi-level marketing) scam. They will ask you for an upfront payment and then you are off having to recruit other fools to recover your losses. Don’t fall for it.
How to avoid this: There is no such thing as easy money and you don’t really need to give out money to make money (especially to strangers who promise the Midas touch). Earn money the right and legal way and consider investing in solid instruments with historical evidence.
4. Inland Revenue Authority scam
An email has been circulating around claiming to be an official mail from IRA requesting for payment of outstanding tax. Do not open it as it contains a virus and will also request for personal information. If IRA is looking for you, you can be sure they won’t just send an email. 😉
How to avoid this: Be updated on Facebook and look out for official statements from the respective bodies telling you which are scams and which aren’t.
Know of any more scams in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below.
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