Current Affairs

Scammers in Singapore Are Swindling Elderly Victims With “Free” Goodie Bags


Whenever you come across something that seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. A recent goodie bag scam has been circulating online that has its victim paying $100 for a ‘free’ goodie bag.

One Facebook user warned others of a scam that was occurring in Singapore recently. In the Facebook post, the user refers to a Lianhe Wanbao report from November last year on what could likely be the same scam.

The post was shared more than 7,000 times. It has since been removed.

But for the sake of those who might not have seen it and want to be careful not to fall for this scam, read on.

This is how the goodie bag scam works:

goodie bag scam

1. The booths are set up by scammers at markets in heartland areas.

2. A sales pitch is made in Cantonese or Mandarin, typically targeting the elderly, starting with an offer of free gifts.

3. Salesperson maintains eye contact with people in the front row and reminds them to keep looking at him. (This is supposedly a hypnotic tactic.)

4. The salesperson then packs a bunch of items into a bag and tells the crowd it’s a free goodie bag.

5. At the end of this performance, the scammer will command the crowd to take out their wallets and raise them high above their heads.

6. Then he will ask them to take out two $50 notes for him as a “favour,”. He also goes on to explain that that they’ll get some change back, and that this small amount is for “goodwill”.

7. Apparently, the crowd then goes into an excited frenzy, answering “yes” and “want” to his every question (a report of it was recorded).

8. It is suspected that some members of the audience are planted there, to act enthusiastic and make the entire thing look genuine.

Here’s the exchange recorded on Wanbao between a salesperson and a crowd gathered at one of the stalls:

goodie bag scam

Salesperson: “If I give you guys these stockpots, will you help me to spread the word?”

Crowd: “Yes, we will!”

Salesperson: “Do you sincerely mean it?”

More Info: