Hello, I’m a 22F. I had an issue where I was ‘scammed’ by someone last year. I was going through a really rough time and was vulnerable, and this person promised to offer me ‘help’ when I was looking to get out of my situation.
To keep things short I met up with this person when they claim to have a job opening for me. I was wary and did not want to meet at first but the person kept pressuring me to, saying things like ‘I’m just helping’ and ‘why are you so afraid to meet up? It’s just for a talk’
I then sort of seek advice from a friend and he said to give it a try. I ended up meeting with this person in a public setting and we talked for a while. This person asked me a few questions about my life and my situation. I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time as I had only calmed down from a mental breakdown a few hours prior and ended up saying more than I should.
This person spent the next 2-3 hours gaining my trust and said he’d offered me a job. Just before we left he got a ‘call’ from a client and said he needed to urgently borrow 1k sgd because his bank has reached the daily transfer limit. I was unsure but also pressured as he was waiting on me with someone on the line, so in the end I transferred him the money. 5mins later he walked me to the bus stop and I went home.
We kept in touch for a while and he said he’ll drop in a cheque for me. I informed him to update me when he does and he did the following day. But he said he ended up writing an extra 1k for me and asked for me to transfer it back. At this point I was very suspicious, and told me I’ll give it to him later.
On the evening of the same day he started asking me for the extra 1k, saying he had an urgent order he needs to pay for. My trust at this point was very low as my gut was telling me something was off. This then turned out to be true because when I kept refusing, he started to become very aggressive, pressuring me to go on call with him (which I did) and started cursing me out. Saying stuff about how he’s helped me with a job but I couldn’t even bother to give him his money back. I kept saying that if he was as good a businessman as he claimed himself to be, then he should have his own money to pay. Not having to take money from a fresh graduate like myself. He later ended the call saying that he’ll wait until the cheque comes in and get his money back. But of course the money never did come in.
I also did give him another $500 because he claim to have a studio apartment for rent but I’ve never been to the place because he kept insisting he was doing a sale for someone else (stupid, I know. But I was desperate and it was within my budget). So in total this piece of garbage of a human being took 1.5k from me.
He then lied to me for 2 weeks saying he sent another cheque or to give it a week for it to come in. I called the bank to confirm and customer service informed me that it only takes 3 days. On the Friday of the 2nd week I went to make a police report because at that point he had stopped responding to me. All of this took place on Oct 2021.
Fast forward to now, I had a call with the IO in charge of my case, and was told that this is considered a ‘Breach of Agreement’ and not actually a crime. The lady on the phone told me that there was nothing they could do other than keep an eye on this person should a similar case come up or enough prompting has happened for them to actually start an investigation. She also told me if I wish to see anything come out of this I will need to go to a small civil court and take matters into my own hands.
My concern is just how should I go about this? Is this going to cost me a lot of money? I don’t have a lot of savings myself, and I think this issue requires a lawyer. I would like some legal advice on this if anyone has knowledge on it.
As for some wondering why I’m not seeking advice with my family on this, its because of them that I was even having this issue in the first place. So as of now only my close friends know of this problem.
- Can’t really offer legal advice per se, but I’m going to assume you don’t have the scammer’s personal information? Like a copy of his NRIC for example. It will be tough to pursue a case without the person’s name.
I’ve reported a scam once, police said they can’t do anything without personal information.
- I don’t think OP’s situation (loan gone wrong) would fall within the jurisdiction of small claims tribunal though 🙁
Says here https://www.judiciary.gov.sg/civil/cases-eligible-small-claim that the case must fall in one of the following categories:
• A contract for the sale of goods.
• A contract for the provision of services.
• A tenancy agreement for residential premises not exceeding 2 years.
• Damage to any property not arising from or in connection with the use of a motor vehicle, or caused by a neighbour.
• A dispute against a supplier for an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
• Refund of motor vehicle deposits under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Motor Vehicle Dealer Deposits) Regulations.