News: Man allegedly posing as HDB-approved contractor charged with cheating

Apr 4, 2019

His cheating first came to light last month when it was reported about a middle-aged man offering “repair works” to Toa Payoh residents. He allegedly duped his victims into believing he worked for a wall patching services provider firm known as Home Patching Contractor.

A man who allegedly posed as an HDB-approved contractor was charged on Wednesday (April 3) with cheating five people of $1,250, reported the Straits Times.

Between October 2018 and March this year, Gary Lau allegedly duped his victims into believing he worked for a wall patching services provider firm known as Home Patching Contractor.

On 25 October, Lau offered to patch the walls of Monica Chua Ai Ching’s home in Bedok South Road for $500. Court documents showed that Chua gave the 55-year old a $150 deposit.

Lau allegedly used the same ploy to cheat four other HDB residents in areas such as Lorong 3 Geylang and Ubi Avenue 1.

A police statement revealed that the cheating cases were reported to the police between March 2018 and March this year.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the man was neither authorised nor appointed by HDB for such works, and had cheated more than 19 victims,” the statement said.

However, court documents did not reveal any details about the other 14 people.

After an investigation, Lau was arrested by officers from Bedok Police Division on Monday (April 1).

Lau’s cheating first came to light last month when Stomp reported about a middle-aged man offering “repair works” to Toa Payoh Central flat owners.

A 72-year-old resident, identified only as Vernon, revealed that the man approached his 76-year-old neighbour after he declined the services. The man allegedly punched Vernon when he tried to intervene.

With this, the police has urged residents to be cautious of people posing as officers from government agencies or as HDB-appointed contractors.

“They (residents) should always ask for verification details such as official staff passes from the agency or company, and if in doubt, call the agency or company to seek further verification.”

Lau, who is remanded at Bedok Police Division and faces five counts of cheating, will be back in court on April 10.

Those convicted of cheating can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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