What to do if you suspect that you have been scammed?

A quick checklist if you encountered a dubious supplier/ retailer. I wrote this from experience and everyone’s experience could be different, so I don’t claim to know everything. I only try to write this as a form of collected resource.

I only knew I was scammed after they blocked our calls, ignored the small claims tribunal summons and when other victims came to me about their experience. First word of advice, if you are shopping and buying furniture, if the shop does not have their shop name listed on Google (such as Google review), their shop has no website, their signboard looks like it can be changed anytime, their brochure has no company name and only address. It is likely that they are fly by night and has no regards or pride for their company. Secondly, when you tell them your furniture requirements, they only write down a few things, no dimensions, no drawings and ask you to pay. You can be assured that they have no intention of giving you what you requested for in your colour, shape and dimension. So be aware and vigilant, not everyone is as honest as you are.

  1. Make a police report. The reason I recommend this first is that the police report are accepted as true information as any false police report will face the below:
  2. Call your credit card company to raise a dispute. What this does is that the bank will hold the money payment to the retailer, as long as you report it within 120 days. The bank will send you a form, fill it up and get a ticket number to know that it has been lodged.
  3. Document all your interaction with retailer/supplier and it falls on you to return the goods. “Consumer must return the goods and attempt to resolve with the business”
    • Written correspondences of attempt(s) to resolve dispute with the business
    • Date and proof that merchandise/service had been returned or cancelled
    • For partially utilized goods or services, provide documentation on the
      calculated unused amount
    • Read more here
  4. If at this point you are unable to resolve, you can go to CASE for mediation, there is a charge. But in my experience, CASE is not useful and I would skip it unless you require further documentation to proof that you tried to resolve it with the supplier
  5. Submit to Small Claims Tribunal at https://www.statecourts.gov.sg/cws/SmallClaims/Pages/LodgingaClaim.aspx
  6. Please note that I would like to give you a few pointers about SCT submission
  7. My first submission had to be withdrawn/ cancelled as I had indicate the name of the owners in ACRA. You can only indicate the name of the company. (I wasted a further 2 months to get my case heard in SCT again)
  8. After SCT awards a judgement, it falls on you to get back your money. If you had paid via credit card, please submit your SCT judgement to your credit card company together with you dispute case number.
  9. After the judgement, I could not get my money back and I did a few things:
    • Magistrate’s order
    • Wrote to my credit card bank
    • Made a second police report to document it
    • Hired debt collector (This does not work for those who have nothing to lose)
    • Got a free lawyer consultation with those organization such as pro bono etc. Anyway after waiting 1 month for my consultation, the lawyer/student just read me the options from the SCT website. So it was not useful, don’t waste your time.
  10. I was luck and thankful that I had my refund back from the bank, but there’s still many from the group who did not had refunds and worst, had to deal with paying more to do rectification to their electrical and glued tiles (their toilet tiles was glued on with superglue, yes you read it right)

#smallclaims #SCT #smallclaimstriburnal #claims #triburnal #small #singapore #fraud #howtoclaimfrauds #scam #doespolicereportwork #case #chargeback #tanboonliat #furniturescam #renovationscam #ACRA #ACRAwrongaddress

By the way, if their address is wrong on ARCA, you can report it, as it is a statutory breech:
Why report wrong address on ACRA: https://www.acra.gov.sg/how-to-guides/lodging-complaints/lodging-a-complaint-for-suspected-statutory-breaches
Report wrong ACRA address: https://www.acra.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/how-to-guides/lodging-complaints/complaintform_062016.pdf

2 thoughts on “What to do if you suspect that you have been scammed?

  1. Wilson

    Hello Alex,
    Read your post about you being scammed $5000. Came about your article when i was googling for LOU ZOU YEE. I believe i been scammed by this person also, together with other people amount to $1m SGD. I have also filed a report, but you can could reach out i like to understand more.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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