A Singaporean man says he was “hypnotized” into giving more than S$300 to “an old Sikh man” soliciting temple donations at Tanjong Pagar Plaza, according to a police report posted online.
The 24-year-old deliveryman wrote that he was approached Saturday just afternoon by the man who appeared in his 50s and was “wearing a turban.” The older man reportedly said he was from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and needed donations for a temple he purportedly owned.
Though the rider only intended to give him S$2, he ended up handing over all the cash in his wallet, more than S$300 in notes, the statement said.
“I would like to inform that while giving him the money, I was completely unaware of my actions and it seemed that the old man had ‘hypnotized’ me. After he took the money, he left and I came to my senses after that,” the unidentified man wrote in the statement published on the All Singapore Stuff Facebook page yesterday. His name, address, Identification Card and mobile phone number covered. The post has been shared more than 800 times.
The man says he tried to look for the alleged telepath, but the man had disappeared. So he went to the police station at about 8:30pm that night to file the complaint that we are all now enjoying.
Hypnotic scams are apparently quite common in Singapore, according to users who jumped into the Facebook comments to share similar experiences and stories they have heard in the past. One person said he fell victim to the scam some years ago, also in the Tanjong Pagar area.
“It happened to me once near Tanjong Pagar as well a few years ago. I ended up giving S$100. I was told I was a lucky man, then he started talking about karma and lucky stones,” a John Raul Joven II said.
Another person, Facebook user Tommy AnnKat TomTom said it once happened to him in Geylang, where he ended up surrendering more than S$50 in cash.
Others recalled an incident in Little India’s Mustafa Center where a cashier was captured on CCTV footage handing out money from the cash box to the alleged telepath. It is not clear when exactly that happened, or where that footage has gone – but mind control could be to blame for that.
As a public service, we present this handy video on protecting oneself from the malicious telepaths out there.
Find all episodes of The Coconuts Podcast