Sunday, December 12, 2010

Looking for a Job in Singapore?

Foreigner looking for a job in Singapore? If you are, read more to find out what you can do to help yourself rather than fly to Singapore on a Social Visit Pass and pray for the best in you job hunting during that time.

Yes, that is what some foreigners have done and I have encountered a few while interviewing candidates. The kind of urgency I feel they have in their job hunt in Singapore as a foreigner? They apply and send in resumes even though due to the nature of my industry, we specifically indicate only Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents are eligible.

So if you are looking forward to working in Singapore, read the below article on the Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (Epec) which may increase your chances of landing that job in Singapore as a Foreigner!

Check the links at the end of the entry for more information!


More foreign grads turn to job-search scheme - The Straits Times (Dec 8 2010) By Elizabeth Soh and Amanda Tan

More applying for pass that allows stay of up to a year, say agencies

Apply for an Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (Epec), which allows foreign university graduates to stay here for up to a year while looking for a job.

It is said that Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (Epec) would increase chances of finding a job, as employers see it as more credible.

Although the scheme was launched way back in 1992, it is not as widely known as other passes - such as the Employment Pass (EP) meant for professionals who earn $2,500 and more, or the S-Pass for mid-level skilled workers who are paid at least $1,800.

To be eligible for the Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (Epec), applicants must be graduates from any of the close to 700 universities on MOM's approved list, among other requirements.

Agencies observed that the scheme has become more popular in the past year - especially among foreign graduates from the less-known universities - as the MOM tightened requirements for certain work passes, such as the S-Pass.

While Epec holders typically gear for EP jobs, they sometimes also settle for the S-Pass if the company cannot pay them a higher scale.

The article said that the scheme has also attracted foreign students enrolled in private schools here. Some students from China said they were told about the Epec when they came to Singapore to enrol in private degree course.

Agencies said some foreigners also prefer to apply for an Epec because they are more likely to get an EP - instead of an S-Pass - if they manage to clinch a job here.

According to the MOM, eligible applicants are generally from the "more established" institutions and they are more "likely to qualify for an employment pass upon securing employment in Singapore".


Find out more at:

Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (Epec)
Ministry of Manpower
Singapore Visas and Passes

You may also be interested to read the following:

Best Paying Jobs in Singapore

Friday, December 3, 2010

Integrity Under Pressure

I read something written by Zig Ziglar quite a few months back on integrity and it is still stuck in my mind. It must mean it is really good and worth sharing with you.

Finally went searching for it again and here it is. Great article on integrity under pressure

Would you have passed the test?

Here's the article....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Investment Advice from Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers - Credit below pic

  1. Get out of the US dollar
  2. Buy commodities
  3. Invest in China

What business journalist Gabriel Chen learnt from and the insights given to him by Jim Rogers, the former business partner of hedge fund icon George Soros.

Act on your Convictions with Discipline

How Jim Rogers demonstrated that? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NUS NTU SMU - Which University's graduates get paid the most?

Ever wondered is there any difference among the business schools of National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU)?

Most importantly, of the three universities in Singapore, which has the highest paid fresh graduates and employment rate?

NUS Business School



After reading about

Average Monthly Pay and Salaries in Singapore

Best Paying Jobs in Singapore

Top 50 Median Monthly Gross Wages and Salaries of High Salary Occupations in Singapore

This may interest you as well..

The results of the 2009 Graduate Employment Survey:  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Supplementary Retirement Scheme - Save on Taxes through SRS

How to save on taxesLorna Tan, Senior Correspondent, shows you how with her article “Saving a little today will go a long way – Supplementary Retirement Scheme lets you save on taxes while you build your nest egg” in The Sunday Times November 14, 2010.

Key points of the Supplementary Retirement Scheme as given in the article:

  • Voluntary Programme ideal for middle- to high-income earners
  • Retirement savings with tax relief
  • Withdrawals of SRS after the statutory retirement age (at the time of contribution) comes with a 50% tax concession
  • SRS withdrawals can be spread over 10 years
  • Penalty for early withdrawals 100% of taxable + 5% penalty 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Average Monthly Pay and Salaries in Singapore

Average monthly earnings and wages in Singapore - have you ever wondered what is the amount?
Have you ever wondered how your salary and wage compare to the average Singaporean?

In addition to two of the most searched and read entries in this blog

Best Paying Jobs in Singapore

Top 50 Median Monthly Gross Wages and Salaries of High Salary Occupations in Singapore

Here is the Average Monthly Pay and Salaries in Singapore

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Beginnings of tenCube and WaveSecure

Remember the previous entry on tenCube - Singapore's $15million company?
I was happy reading the news as it is a Singapore company and the founders came from NUS!

Find out how the founders of tenCube and WaveSecure got their beginnings as I was sent a copy of Knowledge Enterprise, a publication of National University of Singapore (NUS) to keep alumnus like me updated on what's happening in NUS.

tenCube founders from left: Mr Varun Chatterji, Mr Darius Cheung, Mr Indradeep Biswas and Mr Rishi Israni (Pic from Knowledge Enterprise)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Coaching Courses?

Business coaching training or life coaching courses, where is the best place to attend them?
Or Where is the best place to listen to inspirational speakers?
Sometimes the best things in life are free!

Think "The Last Lecture".

In Singapore, there's an interesting one that I came across.
By Adrian Tan, author of The Teenage Textbook who gave this speech at the convocation ceremoney of Nanyang Technological University's 2008 graduating class.

It can be summarised into these 4 points to guide you in career and life:

1. Don't work
2. Avoid telling the truth
3. Be hated
4. Love someone

Continue reading for the whole speech

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The best advice I ever got - Lauren Zalaznick

The best advice I ever got. Where successful people were interviewed and asked what was the best advice they received from their mentors or business coaches and what advice they would like to share with people who may not be lucky enough to have mentors or life coaches in their lives.

Read about the best advice Lauren Zalaznick got in her life without having to pay for any motivational seminars or expensive management or leadership development courses!

Lauren Zalaznick
Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, NBC Universal

Lauren Zalaznick - Pic from

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top 50 Median Monthly Gross Wages and Salaries of High Salary Occupations in Singapore

You may have read one of the most searched blog entry in this blog
Best Paying Jobs in Singapore and Weirdest Highest Paying Jobs in Asia

Here is another statistic about pay and salaries of high paying jobs in Singapore based on Ministry of Manpowers' Manpower Research and Statistical Department - Report on Wages in Singapore, 2009.

The occupations are listed with Median Monthly Gross Wage - wage at which one half of the employees earn below or at the amount.

Monthly Gross Wage - refers to the sum of basic wage, overtime payments, commissions, allowances, service points and other regular cash payments. However it excludes employers' CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, other lump sum payments and payment-in-kind.

Ranked 41 to 50.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The best advice I ever got- Scott Boras

Business consulting or personal life coaching?
Find out what is the best advice Scott Boras ever got. 
Not from any professional trainer, NLP coach or leadership development program but good ol' professor from University.

Scott Boras
Sports Agent, Founder and President, Boras Corporation

Thursday, October 7, 2010

PRUearly Stage Crisis Cover

Remember the previous entry early stage breast cancer - she has 3 policies but no coverage?
The reason was because critical illnesses or major illnesses cover in insurance policies have the same standardized critical illness definitions by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore and the General Insurance Association of Singapore.

There was always the fear that a person may a serious illness, but not serious enough that meets the common critical illness definition for a insurance payout.
Well, fret not.

Prudential Assurance  has now launched the PruEarly Stage Crisis Cover.
This insurance plan offers financial support right from the early stages of critical illnesses.
PruEarly Stage Crisis Cover

It covers as many as 70 different medical conditions! This include early stage critical illnesses such as Cancer at the non-invasive stage, chronic kidney disease, severe dementia and severe asthma.
PruEarly Stage Crisis Cover even make payouts for diabetic complications! The first of its kind in the market.

For a $50,000 cover, the insurance premiums for this plan starts from slightly above $1 a day for a 30 year old who purchase a 45 year term.

For more details, read more:

PruEarly Stage Crisis Cover

Contact me at mywealthmodel(@)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The best advice I ever got - Colin Powell

Here is another of "The best advice I ever got" series. 
You will read about the best advice Colin Powell ever got.

As mentioned previously, some of us may not be lucky enough to have successful mentors who may share and guide us with their wisdom.
Here, you can read about advice that changed the lives of some of the most successful people without the mentors that they had, or attending any life coaching courses or business coaching trainings which may cost a bomb.

Here, you get it for FREE!!

Colin Powell
Former Secretary of State, Retired four-star General

Colin Powell - Pic from

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How rich are Americans?

The richest people in America as listed on Forbes.

As with the previous list on Forbes of Singapore's richest families and individuals
Now the list of America's richest is out...

Want to know the names, net worth, age and the source of how the rich got wealthy

Here is the top ten...

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Best Advice I Ever Got - Mort Zuckerman

Read about this some time back in Fortune magazine. It was an article where they asked some successful people what was the best advice they ever got.
For some of us who do not have super successful or rich mentors to give us advice, I will be blogging about some of the advices these people interviewed were given which helped them on their paths to success.

Mort Zuckerman
Chairman, Boston Properties; Chairman, editor-in-chief, U.S. News and World Report

Mort Zuckerman - Pic from

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Michael Mothner and Wpromote - the number 1 search engine marketing firm

Would you walk out on the last round of interviews for a coveted job as an analyst at Goldman Sachs with the Managing Director?

Well, this guy did. 

Michael Mothner picture from
Michael Mothner started a search engine marketing company Wpromote while still in school. He was asked by the Goldman Sachs' Managing Director why would he want to work for Goldman if Wpromote had been successful.

Michael Mothner's reply?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High Paying Jobs Not in Singapore.. but in Asia...

In my previous entry, I blogged about the Top 100 best paying jobs in Singapore This entry is about high paying jobs not just in Singapore but Asia... and not just any high paying jobs in Asia but what they view as the weirdest high-paying jobs in Asia as reported in Forbes.

Here's a look at some of the jobs:

  1. Would you like to earn $110,000 just for two months' work?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Early stage breast cancer - She has 3 policies but no coverage

The above was the title of the article in today's The New paper - August 31 2010. This lady was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in her right breast which is stage zero, early stage breast cancer. The condition is considered non-invasive which does not fall into the category of critical illness. She was upset that her critical illness insurance policies did not pay out the claims.

Do note that the critical illness definition is standardised in Singapore's

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Money Saving Tip - Sample before Purchase

How often have we bought something based on recommendations from friends or product reviews we read in the magazines or forums?
Perhaps the salesperson was very good at what he/she does and promoted more products than we intended to buy?

How often have we spent and regretted these purchase decisions?

How often have we wished that we could get samples of the products before we make the purchase?

Well, now you can!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Higher bonuses for your insurance policies

Better bonuses for some insurance policyholders - Payouts from Income, AIA and Prudential up as economy rebounds (The Straits Times 23 Aug 2010)

As reported in the newspapers today, if you are a policy owner of participating whole-life insurance or endowment savings policies from NTUC Income, AIA or Prudential it is good news for you as the bonuses to be paid towards accumulating your cash values is higher due to a strong economic rebound that started late last year.

Not all companies have announced higher bonuses though, Manulife Singapore, was reported as one of the insurers that will not be adjusting yearly bonus payouts this year. 

Will this high bonus payout continue? 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Best Paying Jobs in Singapore

Ever wondered what are the highest paying jobs in Singapore?
Which career has the highest salary?
If you are motivated by money and want to know which career pays the most, here is a list of the Top 100 jobs in Singapore that gives the highest gross monthly wage.Bonuses and shared profits are excluded.

Friday, August 13, 2010

tenCube - The Singapore $15million company

Singapore start-up tenCube, the company behind WaveSecure technology has been acquired by McAfee for an undisclosed sum, with sources quoting the fee to be around $15million! WaveSecure lets mobile phone users locate, lock, back up and wipe the data from their phones in case they fall into the wrong hands. You can even call the person who found/stole/bought your mobile phone if a new SIM card is inserted, how cool is that?!

The acquisition was reported in The Straits Times on July 31 and on Aug 11, Digital Life ran a cover on the takeover and interviewed one of the founders and tenCube's CEO Darius Cheung. This guy is only 29 years-old! Same age as me and I have not even sold anything that is worth $1.5million let alone $15million!

Lessons learnt?....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Leanna Archer - 14 year-old teen makes $680,000 a year from home!

Read about Leanna Archer, a 14 year-old girl from US making money, $680,000 a year to be exact, from home in The Straits Times 7 Aug 2010 - Teen makes $680,000 a year

Leanna Archer's family has been using home-made all-natural hair products for two generations. As she often got compliments on her hair and questions on what hair products she used, she struck upon the idea of commercializing the home-made hair products at the grand old age of EIGHT years old. 

She started her business online, selling the home-made pomade. Now, her all-natural hair-product line has 14 products from shampoos to hair mist and is sold at health food and beauty stores in the US.

Glad to read that despite success in her business at a young age, business is not her life. She balances her schoolwork and her business with the help of her family and has set her sights on Harvard Law school. She is also raising funds for impoverished children from Haiti, where her great-grandmother is from. She is also a motivational speaker inspiring other young people to fulfill their dreams. In fact, she is in Singapore to speak at a forum entitled what Makes A Young Champion held in conjunction with the Youth Olympic Games.

Lessons I learnt from reading about her?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Singapore's richest families and individuals

The wealthiest families and individuals in Singapore have become richer due to a resurgent Singapore economy that is set for record growth as reported in Singapore's Richest - The Straits Times 30 July 2010 
The net worth of Singapore's 40 richest people had grown by 17% to US45.7 billion in the latest Forbes Singapore's 40 Wealthiest

Below is the list of the Top 40 Singapore's Richest families/individuals

Singapore's Richest Top 40

So what is the secret to being on the list of Singapore's top money makers?

Real Estate appears in the list more than any other industry for Singapore's richest. Real Estate is the industry that 20% of Singapore's Top 40 Wealthiest is in. If you take into consideration Property as well, the figure goes up to 30%

Second on the list of industries that Singapore's rich is in? Banking which makes up 12.5%. Followed by Investments which constitutes 10%.

Top 3 Industries the rich use to grow their money: 
1) Real Estate
2) Banking
3) Investments

Monday, August 2, 2010

Updates on Sunshine Empire

Some background information and what to do if you are a victim of the scam has been blogged about previously in my entry on Sunshine Empire

The verdict is out and the founder of Sunshine Empire James Phang Wah was sentenced to 9 years in jail and fined $60,000. Neo Kuan Huay, his wife, was fined $60,000. Jackie Choon Cheat, Sunshine Empire's  former director, was jailed for 7 years.

The sentence will offer little consolation to the victims of this massive ponzi scheme as out of the $180million amassed, only $21million has been seized by the authorities. That is only a paltry 11.6%.

If you, or anyone you know, needs to be updated on what's happening and what to do to get back your money, check out Sunshine Empire Pte Ltd FAQ on Commercial Affairs Department's website.

You can contact the CAD office at 6557 5459 during office hours. Their office hours are 8.30 am to 6.00 pm on Mondays to Thursdays and 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on Fridays.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

China's young rich learn how to get richer

The rich gets richer? China's young rich learn how to get richer as reported in an article that appeared in The Straits Times July 28 2010. The combined wealth of the families in the class was reported to be in the region of dozens of billions of yuan.  

These children of the rich were attending courses to learn from ancient emperors' secrets on succession planning. The trainers teaching the lessons included advisers to government and top conglomerates, lecturers from China's top universities and Communist Party scholars. 

Some people are unhappy with the lessons given as they feel that the income gap is already too big and this will worsen the situation by promoting elitism as the rich gets richer.

Let us be realistic here, being born into a wealthy family sure has its privileges and attending such lessons is just one of them. You cannot stop the universities or private institutions providing seminars or talks targeted at the rich on how to grow their wealth or how to preserve their wealth.

However, does that mean that the rest of us who are born without silver/golden/diamond spoons should lose all hope? Well, all is not lost. Some of the heirs to the wealthy family businesses skipped lectures and many were more interested in talking about their luxury cars.

We just have to to be motivated and inspired to fight a lot harder and work much harder at investing, savings and growing our money through financial management. The world is not fair, we all know that. Starting the race of life at the back, we just have to run that much harder so perhaps our children can get the chance to start the race nearer to the start line.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Selecting a Financial Consultant - Debunking the Myth

Whose money is it anyway? - The Straits Times 23 July 2010. An article written by me about how you should go about selecting a financial consultant by looking beyond his marketing savvy.

Whose money is it anyway? - In choosing a Financial Consultant, look beyond his marketing savvy
I tried to make the article as easy to understand as possible and suggested the question to be asked if faced with the common claims made by Financial Consultants or Financial Advisers. Read the article for the full story.

The four main points which I highlighted in the article and the question to be asked:

  1. This is the best financial product in the market.
    • On what basis is the recommendation suitable for me?
  2. The more awards the better. 
    • How did you qualify for the awards?
  3. We are the best financial services company.
    • Best in what area?
  4. We can source for you the best products from different companies.
Selecting a good financial consultant may help you a lot more than just saving some dollars and cents.

If you have any feedback or any question which you would like answered, feel free to drop me an email at mywealthmodel(@)gmail,com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sun not shining on Trio of Sunshine Empire Scam

Court convicts Sunshine Empire trio - The Straits Times Saturday, July 17 2010 Another scam. Can you believe the number of scams out there and the number of people falling for them? Greed is really a sin.

In 15 months, Sunshine Empire actually amassed $180million from 20,000 people.The trio pocketed the following amounts in this short time: James Phang Wah - $7million, Jackie Hoo Choon Cheat - $1 million and Neo Kuon Huay (James Phang's wife) $1 million!

When reporters went undercover and first broke the news, their Posh office in Toa Payoh was pictured, details of their investment projects such as underwater hotel was revealed! For a fee of $240 to $12,000 victims were promised 160 per cent of the value with its customer rebate points. 60% returns on your investments. Immediate with no risks?! Alarm bells should have been blaring.

If you know of anybody who fell victim to Sunshine Empire's Ponzi-like scheme,
there was a How to get money back section.

Visit Commercial Affairs Department website at for information.

I had paid money to Sunshine Empire. When will I recover the money?
A We need to comply with the legal requirements for disposal of the seized monies. These funds cannot be dealt with pending court proceedings.
Back to Top

Q What is the progress of the proceedings in the Subordinate Court?  
A The Subordinate Court delivered the following verdict on 16 July 2010:

a. Jackie Hoo Choon Cheat was convicted on the charge of fraudulent trading under the Companies Act and all the charges involving criminal breach of trust as an agent of Sunshine Empire under the Penal Code. 

b. James Phang Wah was convicted on the charge of fraudulent trading under fraudulent trading under the Companies Act and all the charges involving criminal breach of trust as an agent and falsification of Sunshine Empire’s accounts under the Penal Code. 

c. Neo Kuon Huay was convicted on all charges involving the falsification of Sunshine Empire’s accounts under the Penal Code.  

Sentence will be passed on 30 July 2010 at 9.30 am in Subordinate Court 7.   
Back to Top
Q I have paid money to Sunshine Empire.  Do I need to make a report?
A There is no need to make a report to police at this point in time.  


What will happen after I provide CAD with my particulars and details of my dealings with Sunshine Empire?
A The CAD will contact you, if you are required to further assist in the investigation.  Updates of significant developments on the investigation will be posted in the CAD website at
Q I have already reported the matter to CAD.  Do I have to report the matter to the Police again?
A CAD is a unit of the Singapore Police Force.  There is no need to lodge another police report, if a report has been made to the CAD.
Q What can I do now? 
A If you have reported your dealings with Sunshine Empire to the CAD and provided your personal particulars and details of your dealings, including payment of monies to Sunshine Empire, you should wait for updates from the CAD.


Are there any hotlines that I can call if I have queries on the matter?
A You can contact the CAD office at 6557 5459 during office hours. Our office hours are 8.30 am to 6.00 pm on Mondays to Thursdays and 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on Fridays. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Money Saving Tip - Credit Card

Credit Card Annual Fee
It pays to go through your credit card bill. I don't know about you but I don't believe in paying for my credit card annual fee. It may come in the form of dollar amount listed as a debit in your bill or you do not see any dollar amount but they have already deducted it through your rewards points.

My credit card renewal fees for the different cards range from $180 to $300. I just don't see why I should be paying it when new applicants for the credit card get fee waivers. ALWAYS call in to request they waive it off. Don't have to be embarrassed about doing it. I think it is shocking if you haven't done it before. I think it is SO common, they even have it as an option in their automated recorded messages. If you have say 3 credit cards, that will save you about $600!

Of course, the more often you use the card and the higher the amount you usually use, the higher the chance for them to accede to your request. If you hardly ever use the card, I doubt they will agree to the waiver.

Late Payment Charges
If you are as careless as I am or living in the stone age like I am (I still prefer to pay through AXS machines, makes me feel the pain!), there may be instances where you would have forgotten or missed the payment deadline. Late payment charge of $50 + interest is the norm.
Again, CALL and request for the charges to be waived off. That's too much to pay for forgetfulness.

Again, the more business you have with them the higher the chance. However, that is also provided it doesn't happen often!

In any case, no harm trying..

Happy Saving! =)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Money Saving Tip - Parking Coupon

Another totally painless money saving tip:
What do you do if you make a mistake tearing the tabs of a parking coupon?

Stop tearing any more tabs from the parking coupon but you don't have to throw it away.
You can actually bring the parking coupon back to HDB office for a refund.
Of course, it may not be so wise to bring a 50cents coupon there specially to get a refund but if there's a HDB office around where you work or stay, why not?

Did you know this?

Monday, July 12, 2010

About Timeshare Companies and Timeshare Packages Scams

It is unfortunate that the Timeshare industry is getting all the negative publicity with its hard-sell tactics, false promises, unfair practices and misrepresentations. Timeshare, from what I understand, is supposed to be a good thing.  You pay for packages which gives you discounts and a certain number of days of free stays at selected places. It is a win-win situation, you get your discounted travel packages, and accommodation providers fill their capacities. 

As in most cases such as land banking blogged about previously Land Banking- Land International (Far East) and Land Banking in the spotlight again? - Profitable Group, it is the unscrupulous people who give the industry the negative publicity. Timshare firms have topped Consumers Association of Singapore’s (Case) complaints list for the past five years with more than 2,000 complaints annually because of its hard-sell tactics.

It was reported in two articles last month – Travel Agency warns against timeshare firms (The Straits Times, June 18 2010) and Timeshare firm told to stop tactics (The Straits Times, June 19 2010).
In the latter article, the subordinate courts of Singapore actually ordered Garraway Enterprises to “stop making false promises to customers”. For the court to order that, that really says something. Victims paid between $2,998 and $80,000 for the fake packages with the total claims made by the customers against Garraway Enterprises amounting to $887,000. Who knows how much more went unreported?

How did the ploy work?
People were approached on the streets with Scratch-and-Win cards, prizes include $1,000 cash and digital camcorder. (Not sure if they still operate the same way now, but in the past I always see these people at the pavement walk near Ngee Ann City. Anybody who stopped to do the Scratch-and-Win cards ALWAYS seem to win something! Then comes part 2, the representative will jump up-and-down and proclaim “Oh my, you are so lucky!” and another “supervisor” comes along and does the same thing.)
For Garraway Enterprises, people who “won” prizes have to collect them in Ngee Ann City where their office is located. (Which may explain why they used to operate on Ngee Ann City pavement walk?)
There have also been cases as reported in Travel Agency warns against timeshare firms of companies posing as subsidiaries or affiliates of reputable travel companies offering free or discounted travel packages as baits.
In both cases, when they reach the offices, they will be asked to sit through hours of presentations where they will be hard-sold and in some cases even barred from leaving till they succumb to the hard-sell tactics.
After signing for packages, that is where they realize the discounted packages may cost the same or even more than those booked from travel agencies and unfulfilled promises.

The good news?
Companies who have been ordered by the court to stop such practices will be in contempt of court if they continue to do so.

The bad news?
The unscrupulous people behind the scams can just close the company down and continue under a different company.

The scary news?
There have been reports in the past where the cruelty of some devious people can be really scary. After some people fall for the scams and are cheated of their money to buy timeshare packages which they never got the chance to utilize due to the false promises, they would receive calls from companies who express sympathy to their plight. These scammers will then promise the victims that they can help them sell their timeshare packages or get refunds from the timeshare companies. Of course, these offers came with a fee. After paying the fees, the victims realize they are still stuck with the same timeshare packages and are now even poorer for it. That’s really double whammy and a demonstration of cross-selling in marketing terms in a negative way!

As usual, before parting ways with your hard-earned money, always do your own checks.
For people who claim to represent, is affiliated to or is a subsidiary of any company, contact the company to verify.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Scam with Singaporeans among the Victims

Singaporeans among HK scam victims – The Straits Times, Monday June 28 2010. HK$21 million (SGD$3.75 million) from 160 victims with one victim reported as paying to the Hong Kong gang scammers HK$3 million which is about SGD$536,000! Victims were ethnic Chinese from countries living in Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.

How did the scam work? 
Phone calls or E-mails were made to the victims either promoting investments that promised high guaranteed returns or congratulating the victims on winning the top prize of a lottery or lucky draw.

The catch? 
To receive the winnings or investment returns, victims have to pay an “administrative fee” to a bank account. 

Based on past scams reported, usually these victims had not even entered into any lottery or lucky draw when they were informed of winning such prizes. Variations to these scams include having to pay for “taxes”, “release fees” or even “identification verification”. Pay an “administrative fee” and it will be followed by some issue of “taxes” where more payment is needed. More often than not, it involves a few of such payments which may explain why some victims can be duped of SGD$536,000. 

My main concern when reading this article?
They have now made it more believable by adding a step to their modus operandi. 
For lotteries or lucky draws, they will now send emails or call victims to participate in a survey. To thank them for participating in the survey, they will be informed if they win a prize.
For Investments, the scammers actually befriend the victims online on social networking websites and building the friendship before persuading them to make the “investments”! 

As usual, before you part with any of your hard-earned money, always do your own checks. Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is.
Help share this to avoid having loved ones fall victim to the scams.