A money changer located at People's Park Complex has been accused of cheating S$500 from an elderly woman.
On June 21, a Facebook post by Cassandra Quek recounted her mother's experience with the money changer in Chinatown.
The actual incident took place on June 18.
Five S$100 notes missing
Here's what the post said happened that day:
- Quek's mother gave the man S$1,450, consisting of six x S$100 notes (S$600) and 17 x S$50 notes (S$850), in exchange for Indonesian rupiah.
- Man starts serving her at the corner counter, where apparently, she wasn't able to see him handling the money.
- While counting the money, he attended to another customer, which distracted Quek's mother.
- He then told her that she did not give the full amount of S$1,450 to him.
- When asked "how much" was missing he couldn't answer and told her to count it herself.
- She discovered five S$100 notes went missing.
- The money changer told her to watch their CCTV footage.
Money changer insisted on showing CCTV footage at least three times
When the mother insisted on calling the police to file a report, the man ignored her requests and still wanted her to check the CCTV footage.
A man from the store next door even tried to persuade her to consider looking at the CCTV footage.
However, after a few attempts at persuasion, the money changer caved in and claimed that he had called the police.
About 20 minutes later, however, the police still had not arrived.
That was when Quek's mother decided to call them on her own.
According to Quek, when the police finally arrived, they asked for her statement and said they will get back to her in the next five days.
In the post, she also said that the police couldn't see anything conclusive from the CCTV footage.
This was because the camera couldn't capture anything useful due to its angle.
Similar experiences shared by others
According to responses on the Facebook post, this wasn't the first time an incident like this has happened at the very same money changer.
Several Singaporeans commented on similar experiences they faced there.
Some also said that the money changer allegedly gives differing exchange rates to their customers.
But at least one response reported that nothing strange has happened to him at the same money changer.
In response to media queries, the police have confirmed that they are looking into the matter:
"The Police confirm a report was lodged and are looking into the matter."
On June 22, Quek updated her post to say she will take the post down if required:
Thank you to those who have commented nice things and have said kind words! Thanks for the support, but pls pls don’t bring race and/or religion into this - fact is, a bad person is a bad person, race and religion has nothing to do with it. Oh and pls do not harass them in any way either!
I understand that there are two sides to every story. In this case, it is my mom’s side and the money changer’s. Obviously, I would side with the former (my mom is very naggy and sometimes annoying haha but she is a good human bean!). I mean, how would you feel if you were in either of our positions? (I obviously don’t feel great, someone took advantage of my mom!)
Also, my mom is in her 50s (cannot disclose actual age cuz yknow sensitive heh) - she is not elderly and does not suffer from dementia. She is also a very very kind human being and would never ever cheat someone (as some of the comments suggest). My mom just wanted me to post this to alert my friends to be careful and not patronise this stall lest they fall into the same trap. But I guess this is the power of social media and things get viral fast (was not expecting this). Also I understand Chinese newspapers have been trying to get hold of my mom and I, but she prefers to keep a low profile out of the spotlight. My mom just wants them to get their karma and even if she gets back the $500 she said she’ll just donate it to charity!
I wish my mom hadn’t got cheated but it already happened. So right now, we’ll just be cooperating with the police and I’ll take down this post if it’s required. The police came by today and told my mom that they will be looking seriously into this matter. I hope that people with similar issues with this money changer would come forward to help with this case (just drop me a fb message!).
Once again, remember to stay alert when you’re changing money!
You can read her full post here:
Top image from Cassandra Quek's post