Extremely thorough man foils ‘Singapore Poly’ student scam

A CCTV image of one of the ‘students,’ at left. At right, details of fundraising campaign by SingYouth Hub. Photos: Gabriel YW/Facebook
A CCTV image of one of the ‘students,’ at left. At right, details of fundraising campaign by SingYouth Hub. Photos: Gabriel YW/Facebook

A man said Wednesday he had filed a police report after foiling a donation scam by two people claiming to be Singapore Polytechnic students.

The students had tried to solicit money under a bogus fundraising campaign, Facebook user Gabriel YW wrote in a now-deleted post. He was told the donations were for a local charity which indeed held a recent fundraiser – that ended in September.

“Door to door donation drive scam. Please be aware of such cases going on in your estate by some youths. Earlier today I encountered 2 youths claiming to be from Singapore Poly and doing [door-to-door] collections for SingYouth Hub,” the man wrote. 

Among the red flags that the boys raised were their receipt booklets and questionable license permit, Gabriel said. Skeptical, he probed the duo further about their scheme and was unconvinced about the legitimacy of the fundraiser. He then told the boys to leave. 

Afterward, he checked the website of their purported charity, SingYouth Hub, website and called to enquire about its fundraising campaign, only to be told it had ended three months ago. 

Fund-raising campaign poster apparently held by the students. Photo: Gabriel YW/Facebook
Fund-raising campaign poster apparently held by the students. Photo: Gabriel YW/Facebook

One of the first things that Gabriel noticed about the boys were the “off the shelves” receipt booklets they were holding — unusual for donation collectors, according to his post. 

Gabriel then asked for their license permits and saw portions blanked out and re-written with other names and identification numbers. 

“Upon checking their permit, which they happily produced, it shows discrepancies as the original name has been ‘blanco’ and written with another name,” Gabriel added, with reference to the correction fluid brand. 

A photo of the permit handed to Gabriel showed the name “Teh Tze Tzer” as the licensee, different from the original version of the license on SingYouth Hub’s website, which had the name “Tan Chiew Hwee” on it.

No one will ever accuse this guy of not doing his due diligence.

Original license from SingYouth Hub’s website.
Original license from SingYouth Hub’s website.

“Two red flags and they tried to convince me that what they did is legal and even tried to call their team leader. I told them to stop whatever they are doing right now and leave the premises,” Gabriel added. “Police has been informed of such activity.”

According to the SingYouth Hub website, their recent fundraising campaign ran from June 18 to Sept. 15. Proceeds from the sale of wristbands went to their social entrepreneurship program, a mental wellness organization and fundraising costs. 

There are a number of ways to verify the legitimacy of donations in Singapore, one of them is to text the license number to the authorities at 79777 using the format “FR<space><license/certificate number or organization name>”. 

You will then receive an SMS reply indicating whether the organization has a valid license or certificate.

 

Related:

‘Changi iShop’ scammer caught red-handed by Singapore woman in hilarious phone call

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CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: CRIME

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