Update Nov. 5, 2014, 6pm: More than S$1,600 raised for scammed Vietnamese tourist on Indiegogo in 54 minutes
A Singaporean, Gabriel Kang, has turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise at least US$1,000 (S$1,250) to buy an iPhone 6 for the Vietnamese tourist who got scammed at Sim Lim Square.
Context: A Vietnamese tourist, who makes $200 a month as a factory worker, paid $950 to buy an iPhone 6 at Sim Lim Square for his girlfriend but was told to cough up another $1,500 for warranty when he was about to leave. When he couldn't pay and wanted his money back, the refund was refused and he had to beg for it. He eventually walked away empty-handed and $550 poorer after the police got involved.
Kang, who works in a local tech start-up, said he hopes the community can get together to raise the money but would personally top up the amount if it fails to meet the target and ensures full transparency of how funds are used.
From the Indiegogo campaign:
"We need to raise at least USD$1,000, but hopefully we would raise a bit more to cover express shipping and pay for a goodie bag to help alleviate their suffering. But if we do fall short, I will personally cover the rest."
Besides buying an iPhone 6, Kang would also like to send some uniquely Singaporean gifts such as bak kwa and kaya jam to the Vietnamese tourist named Pham Van Thoai.
The Indiegogo fundraising started on Nov. 04 and will close on Nov. 12.
Pham has left Singapore on Nov. 5, according to Case (Consumers Association of Singapore) but attempts will be made to contact him and verify that his address in Vietnam is correct before sending anything over.
Who am I and why am I doing this?
My name is Gabriel and I work in a small local tech startup. I am a Singaporean who is neither rich nor poor and I do not seek to profit directly or indirectly from the results of this campaign. I seek no recognition and have no political affiliations, goals nor ambitions. I also have no affiliations to the police, tourism board, CASE or any other government organization. I am just an ordinary Singaporean, someone who has read the story and gives a damn, just like YOU!
Spread the word, raise some money, folks.