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The COVID-19 has so far shown a lot of social issues and discussions on everyone’s mind, at least it brought to really think about what were going on in our daily life which we took it for granted.

One of the topics in almost everyone’s mind and hot topic is the foreign workers whose infection appeared to make everyone worried that Singapore was one of the epic center of the pandemic of COVID-19

As at 9th May 2020, the total numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Singapore was 22460, you can go to this site to see more details -https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/256-more-cases-discharged-753-new-cases-of-covid-19-infection-confirmed

As can be noticed from the MOH Press Statement that majority of the cases were in the dormitories where most of the residents are the foreign workers who come to Singapore to work.

A lot have been said and commented in social media about the conditions in the dormitories and there are not shortage of negative comments about the foreign workers.

However, how many of us really put ourselves in the foreign workers’ shoes and look from their point of view?

I like the Facebook post where the speaker said about the plight of the foreign workers, you can see the Facebook post here - https://www.facebook.com/subramanianrengasamy.r/videos/3054802751243783/.

Let’s not go into details of these, neither are we going to comment on whether the comments you all find in the social media, be it Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram or whatever social media channels you are used to surfing and you can draw your own conclusion based on whatever you know and see.

This is about the plight of the foreign workers who make an effort to come from their home countries, be it Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar or Nepal and China to come to Singapore, hoping to earn some money so they can provide a better living conditions for their families back home.

This is a third party account of what a migrant worker encountered, I happened to know him and close with him and treated him as one of my friend, it may not be the same with other migrant workers, or it was just sheer bad luck on his part that he worked for a monster employer.

Perhaps, for those in the countries mentioned above, they may want to think twice before they decided to embark on this journey to financial freedom which they think they can achieve in Singapore if that is what they are thinking.

Merlion Icon of Singapore @cheeshi

For some of them, in order to take that first step to come out from the comfort of the home country with the family, they have to borrow some money and pay to the local home agents to come over to Singapore.

To them, it is a new beginning and which they were told they could make enough money and good money which they might not be able to make in their home countries, so they thought.

However, the reality of this harsh truth strike them when they touch down in Singapore and were met by the Singapore agent at the nice airport called Changi Airport.

Changi Control Tower @cheeshi

To make it to Singapore, some of them incurred so many debts, having to pay the home agent as well as the big amount charged by the Singapore agent for bringing them in.

Every one thought the foreign workers earn a good salary by coming to work in Singapore, mainly in the construction industries and since almost every thing is provided by the employer who hired him, so the foreign workers have sufficient money to remit back to their home countries.

So that was what every one in the public thought since the government said all foreign workers from the above mentioned countries could only apply for S Pass or Employment Pass and there is a minimum salary linked to the two Passes, and the workers from the above mentioned countries could not apply for the work permit.

Based on the requirement of Ministry of Man Power of Singapore (MOM), before a worker can be brought in from the home country, the employer has to apply for necessary papers and also include a copy of the employment contract which clearly state the salary offered to the to-be-hired worker is SGD $ 2,400 the minimum salary scale for the S-Pass, you can check the criteria of S-Pass in this link, https://www.mom.gov.sg/passes-and-permits/s-pass

Now the foreign worker thought he would be paid SGD $ 2,400 per month for working in Singapore, which will be quite a substantial amount for them back home and hopefully this will help to ease his financial burden at home.

As I mentioned earlier, sometime the ideal is not the reality and the truth hurt. The reality does not conform with to the ideal, but confirm it, as The renowned French Novelist Gustave realized it well and made everyone know that Reality does not conform to the ideal but confirms it.

In the Facebook link I shared earlier in this article, the speaker was doing a survey on how much a foreign worker was making a month, and the result showed the amount was quite low and he was quite right about the amount.

Let’s have a closer look at how much actually a foreign worker makes per month.

Based on his contract submitted to MOM it should be SGD $ 2,400.00

Then the reality hit home, when he reaches Singapore and reported to the employer direct from the Changi Airport, he most probably would be told by his new boss that his salary would only be SGD $1,500 per month the most if not SGD $1,000.

So every month, when he has his salary, he would have to withdraw SGD $ 1,400 and pay back to the boss in cash assuming he was told his monthly would be SGD $ 1,000. This was similar to the modus operandi of a decided case in this link- https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2016/0708-company-director-fined-21000-for-falsely-declaring-salaries-in-work-pass-applications

Then the HR would inform him that HR needed to deduct the air fare for the flight from his home country to Singapore, more bad news for the foreign ensue, HR would inform him that he needed to go for medical checkup before the S Pass could be issued, and to go for medical check up, he would have to take leave to do so, and since he would not be working, his salary would be deducted for being absent from work. So if the medical check up took one day, then one day pay would be deducted.

After a few days when the medical report was ready and he would need to go and collect the report and submit to MOM, again he would have to take leave of absent and having his salary deducted.

Since he would most probably stay in the dormitory arranged by the employer, the employer supposedly paid the dormitory operator for his workers staying in the dormitory as per his contract of engagement.

HR would then tell the foreign worker that the rental paid to the dormitory would be deducted from his salary, that would be including the bed rental, service charge, laundry service and whatever charges the dormitory has.

So we can see the foreign worker financial situation is not glossy after all in the first year or two of his employment in Singapore.

Now on the working hours, they have to work long hours and most of the time beyond the legal working hours per day as stipulated in the Employment Act of Singapore and this is very common in Singapore, workers are expected to work long hours and if they are absent from work for even hour, their salary will be deducted, on the other hand, even they work beyond the normal 8 hours, they would not get paid for the overtimes put in, the employer would claim it was stipulated in the contract.

For foreign workers working in the construction industry, if the company was penalized for any delay in completion of work or fined by MOM or NEA or any authorities, the usual practice would be deducted from the salary from the workers as it would be considered the faults of the workers which resulted in the penalty for the delay or violation of regulations.

So we can see the plight of the foreign workers and their ideal working environment in Singapore which is quite different from the ideal situation.

To quote a message I came across in Quara. Com and I quote “ Yes, undoubtedly the reality does not conform to our perception of what an ideal is but it does confirm what an ideal actually is in its own unique, beautiful and authentic way, perhaps that’s the reason why it is called ‘REAL ITY’. Unquote

I am sharing here the plight of the foreign worker who experienced by one who happened to be my friend and this was what he had narrated to me of what he had encountered.

This could be something for those back home in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar and the subcontinent of Asia who are contemplating to come to Singapore to work, thinking this is the way to escape poverty.

For those who had made it and enduring the first two years of hardship and saving as much as they could in order to repay the debts borrowed and having some savings to go back to home land after the end of the two years contract, it would be a good life lesson for them and hopefully make them the wiser and enrich their life. For some, they might change their employers and been offered a better deal than the first two years of their adventure in Singapore, some of them move on to a better pasture and finally managed to make some savings and see the light at the end of the tunnels.

For those who want to make the trip, it would be better that they consider their other options such as equip themselves with better knowledge so that they can come here via the Employment Pass which for that status will fetch a better salary than an S- Pass holder, hence the financial burden will be lesser and it would also be easier for them to land a better job after the first contract end if they find the first employer was not to their expectation.

For those still in the above mentioned countries, it would be easier for them to try some online business and earn some passive income to supplement their household requirement instead of just dreaming of the good jobs in Singapore which may not be the case.

Since most of them are quite tech savvy and learning new knowledge seem easy for them, it would be better that they can embark on some online training and make use of the internet to earn some money.

And perhaps they may want to look at this WA website and learn some good lessons on how to gain a footing in internet business and subsequently achieving financial freedom.

If you have any interesting pictures and views about this COVID-19 in term of social impacts and wish to share your views, feel free to do so in the comments section and I welcome your positive feedback and opinion, time being, stay safe and stay healthy.

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10

COVID-19, the dreaded word in 2020 which has caused a lot of havoc all over the world.

Because of this pandemic, human beings are being asked by medical experts to stay at homes as much as possible in order to break the spread of this virus.

So the next most used words these days are Social Distancing.

Photo taken at one of the eatery

Just how effective is Social Distancing in curbing the spread of COVID-19?

No one will really know the effectiveness, how does this come about in the first place?

To a layman on the street, he will interpret it laterally that the distance between him and another human has to be at a certain distance, however it appears the social distancing is more than that and it seems a lot of governments do not seem to convey the right messages to the people at large.

There are measures adopted by governments which are considered Social Distancing.

1. Distance between two persons in public.

2. Cancellation of mass gatherings to avoid contact.

3. Restriction of travel.

4. Closure of schools and use home base learning to use internet.

5. Closure of work place of non-essential business to reduce the contacts

6. Quarantine of suspected infected patient and the contacts.


I am not going to elaborate in details of the above measures as I just want to write something about this while being held up at home due to the measures!!!!

Because of this stay home measure, no one can go to work other than the essential services such as utility companies, tel co, supermarkets, food and beverage outlets for those who never cook at home and so used to eat at food courts or restaurants.

Due to this COVID-19, almost all the industries and businesses are affected, Airlines need to ground their air crafts and because of this, the oil production is also affected and oil prices tumbled so much at one time reached negative level.

The oil industries are badly affected as fewer people are traveling and public transports also make fewer trips.

Even taxi operators were badly affected with a lot of drivers decided to stop driving taxis.

So are we going to see the new norm after this COVID-19 pandemic finally leave us for good?

for one, at the moment, due to less traffic on the road, in the air and so on, the pollution due to the emissions from the transports is less and we can see clearer sky.

Likewise, factories which are not in the producing of essential goods are also temporarily stopped and there is less use of air conditions and equipment in these industries which also contribute to the improvement in the air quality to some extent.

The pandemic is really an eye-opener for a lot of people across the boards, those jobs which were deemed not attractive and only for those in between job, such as delivery men, suddenly are in great demand and a profession highly regarded.

Hawkers stalls are doing quite good business as there are a lot of takeaway of foods and less cost involved in washing the plates and cutlery

Manufacturing companies which are in medical supply health industries are doing well as the demands of sanitize rs, disinfectant, masks, glove, PPE, shoes and thermometers are high and even some factories converted their production lines to make all the medical supplies, In China, it was reported that most of the car manufacturers converted their production lines to product gloves, masks, shoe and PPE.

Even reported that Foxconn, the OEM part suppliers of IPhone, refitted their productions to produce masks. So were most of the garment factories in China, refitting their production lines to produce the necessary medical supplies.

With the near standstill of the economy, are we seeing the new norm of economy post COVID-19?

a company's income is another company/consumer expense, for example, if the airline is not flying, as travelers are not flying, so airline will not have income, then all the air crews may not have their salary paid unless the airline concerned has Hugh cash reserve to sustain the non-operating.

Assuming the air crews were not paid or only paid half, hence their purchasing power will reduce, and this will have domino effect on their as the air crews will not spend, and the other industries will have no income since no one is spending money.

So if every one stays at home, no one has income, hence no spending power, at the end of the day, what is going to happen?

Do we go back to the time of barter trading, whereby I had this item and you have what I need and you need what I have, so we exchange goods?

I am looking forward to pricing adjustments, since this work from home for most offices show that they do not really need such a working space in office, so, office property prices will come down? even in Central Business District?

One of the good thing from the social distancing is the home base learning, kids nowadays also glue to their mobile devices and did not bother to study, they go to school only because the parents say so, after school, the hands will be on the mobile phone even when they are taking the meals at home or outside.

School kids were so happy when the government announced the schools will be closed until certain dates, so "hooray" no need to go to school, then it dawns on them that the device which they like so much because of internet connection is being used to do home base learning, so now they realize the internet connection they like so much, which give them enjoyment, now also give them some hard time.

The plus thing of this home base learning is after this pandemic is over, the teachers can change profession and become internet broadcaster/presenters since they now have ample experience in broadcasting through internet when giving lessons to the schools children.

For those who stay at home and need to keep fit, this will be the time to learn how to keep fit when at home and what one can do at home to do the exercise and burn the necessary calories.

For those who really want to challenge their body fitness or who are in burn yoga, you can try burn yoga while working from home. You can click here to learn more about burn yoga

For those who seldom cook and so rely on hawker foods, it is the time to learn and practice the cooking skills and finally the kitchen can be used. After all nowadays there are so many channels one can learn about cooking, just follow YouTube tutorial and so on.

Does Social Distancing lead to panic buying? Or announcement by government which was sometimes not clear enough was the main cause of the panic buying?Photo taken by Chee Shi

One phenomenon of this COVID-19 pandemic is the hoarding of toilet papers, tissue papers, even alcohol swipe which the diabetic patient use before they administer their medicine.

The hoarding of toilet papers not only happens in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia, it even happens in USA and Australia and European countries.

I was told by friends in Hong Kong, the hoarding of toilet papers was due to the rumor that since Hong Kong supply of toilet papers was from China and China had instructed that all the toilet papers production line need to divert the raw materials to making of masks which were in short supply at one time, so the people in Hong Kong got panic and decided to stock up the toilet papers.

As for Singapore, it was noticed that toilet paper and tissue papers hoarding were of different reason, apparently people in Singapore are very creative, they put two pieces of toilet papers in between the mask and tissue paper, the tissue paper will be the one which come into contact with the mouth and nose with the toilet paper in between the tissue paper and mask, even though it is a 3 ply mask.

Anyone has the reason for the hoarding in Western Countries?

One of the good things of this pandemic is nowadays people will queue to buy their goods at the market.

So we have to look at the positive of this outbreak of the pandemic and take action to ensure we can cope with life after COVID-19.

If you have any interesting pictures and views about this COVID-19 in term of social impacts and wish to share your views, feel free to do so in the comments section and I welcome your positive feedback and opinion, time being, stay safe and stay healthy.

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2

There are so many Binary Options platforms out there and most of the Binary Option claimed that you can use that to get rich fast!!!.

The platform is cashing in on the human greed to lure people to the platform basing on the basic human desire of Who Does Not Want To Get Rich.

How many people have been using Binary Options and learned a painful lesson that they will never forget?

There are Binary Options who claimed you can make a lot of money and easy to get your investment back.

FREEBIE IN BINARY OPTION

Some Binary Options even provide one for one investment, that is if you invest USD $2,000, they will top up the account with USD $2,000 and you have $ 4,000 Capital to trade using Binary Option, however the platform administrator did not tell you at that time if you take the option of getting the free top up, you are not able to withdraw your initial Capital until you make certain numbers of transactions.

In the internet, there are so many advertisements about Binary Option and video showing how people have made a million within a short time using the same actors or actress to lure you to believe this is THE WAY to make money.

photo by Chee Shi

WHAT IS BINARY OPTION?

According to Wikipedia definition

"A binary option is a financial exotic option in which the payoff is either some fixed monetary amount or nothing at all.[1][2] The two main types of binary options are the cash-or-nothing binary option and the asset-or-nothing binary option. The former pays some fixed amount of cash if the option expires in-the-money while the latter pays the value of the underlying security. They are also called all-or-nothing options, digital options (more common in forex/interest rate markets), and fixed return options (FROs) (on the American Stock Exchange).[3]"

so in layman term, it is a yes or no, and head and tail type of game, it is like a game of chance, right or wrong.

When you want to find out more about the platform, initially the customer service is so friendly and helpful, but when you are winning using the Binary Option, they will have people making calls to you to show you how to make more money and encourage you to trade more and in no time, you find out your winnings are gone and then they will call you to put in more money and tell you again if you put in USD $5,000, they will top up USD $ 5,000 and here you are, you have now USD $ 10,000 to trade.

What Are Offered In Their Website?

Some websites even offered training on trading of binary option and claimed to provide good trading support, some even claimed to offer good tips and sure win trade if you pay certain amounts of money.

Therefore I would suggest if you really want to trade binary option, do so with the local platform where you can meet the administrator of the platform in person and understand more about their operation, even that also may not be good enough, however do trade with good conscience.

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH?

The main issue is -- the trader does not know who he is trading with and how many players/traders are involved, for all you know, you may be trading with the platform's software and being manipulated by them and what you see on screen was supposed to be the real trade in the financial market, but there could be some lag in the data which indicated you may be trading with the platform back end who is just eating up your money/capital slowly.

WHAT HAPPENED IF YOU GUESSED RIGHT AND WIN?

If you happened to trade right and win, then the customer service will call you the next day and tell you to trade more or play more, depending on what you are trading, whether it is forex, stock, indices or metals and someone will call and tell you that they have some research done and good time to do certain trades and they would guide you and so on.

The next thing was you realize your winning were gone after a few trades and as the trades were for few minutes, so you would know your trade results within minutes and then they would call and said you should bet in certain amount as the probability was higher with higher amount and so on.

WHAT HAPPENED IF YOU WANTED TO CASH OUT YOUR WINNINGS?

When you called or log in to your account and indicated you wanted to withdraw your winning, you would not get any reply at all and when you called or emailed them, you would be informed that since you had taken the top up from the platform, you were not able to withdraw as you had not done enough trade transactions

They would ask you to continue trading and you soon knew the game was a scam as there was no chance you could win as it was just a program set up by them to ensure you put in money and so on.

Are Binary Options Regulated?

If you go to their websites, you would notice that they claimed they were regulated and they even offered you to check their credential with the relevant authorities, however, if you really check and read the reviews by some other who always monitor the scam and fraud, you would find that a lot of them are really scam and operated by some fraudsters who hide behind the internet and computer to thrive on human nature of greed of money and get rich quick.

Conclusion

If you really want to trade, do so with the local platform where you can meet up with the administrator and the company and understand their operation and get some assurance and check with the local relevant regulatory authorities.

If you are not well versed in financial market, do stay away from this instrument.

It will be better to trade in something which you know well instead of looking for some quick short term gain.



If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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2

In our life, we only live once and it is important that we live it right.

Since we were born, we learned a lot of things from baby until we graduated and started working life and family life and so on.

It is important that we get it right especially when we reach the retirement age and there are bills and commitment to be met.

There are people who are still hesitant of what to do and what need to be done in order to have a financial worry free retirement life.

A. Why do people put off their decision?

Just share one of my experience of encountering one person who keeps asking me what to do as he is getting on his life and worry about his life for the next decade when he is in retirement.

I told him to try out online business, and if he can get on with it, he does not have to worry about his retirement life.

The last I heard from him was he was still thinking about it, and I told him we only live once and we need to get it right.

His excuse was there were so many people who had tried that and did not seem to be successful.

My answer to him was he needed to find out how many times these so called many people had put, and how many hours of their efforts to really work on the online business.

It appeared that majority of people were looking for get-rich-quick type of scheme and have the impression that online business is a get-rich-quick scheme with instant success without putting in much effort.

People put off their decision because they were not certain whether they could be successful and most importantly was they were not willing to put in their effort.

Photo by Pedro da Silva on Unsplash

B. What do we do when we need to take a decisive step in life.

We tend to be hesitant when we face with some decisions to make, a lot of people put off making the decision to a later date and let the opportunity passed by.

You know you only live once, hence it is important you live it right and grab the opportunity as hardly there is a second chance.

Therefore, if there is an opportunity to move forward and make your life better, why don't you grab it and live it the fullest?

A lot of people regret that they did not take the chance offered when they were offered the opportunity to better their life, we should remember no risk no gain, after assessing the opportunity on hand, take it and move on.

We will not be an expert if we do not fail to achieve our goal, we only know some people are great but we never know how much and how hard they had tried in order to reach what they are now and how often have they failed and how difficult their situation was before they become great.

C. You Only Live Once, So How Do You Intend To Have A Financial Worry Free Retirement Life?

To be financial worry free during retirement life, one needs to ensure we are independent and decisive in making decision when we have to decide how to live our retirement life happy and free of financial worry.

One of the way to make it is to do some online business and none better than using Wealth Affiliate to learn and make money at the same time.

Even when you are in Old Folk Home living out your remaining life, you still have the ability to earn some money and live a good life there

So for those who are serious in making it online and ensuring having a good retirement life, do the right thing and make the right decision so that you do not have to depend on your offspring for support in your retirement life if you are able to make some income from online business.

Do realize that having some handsome online business income will be good to finance your lifestyle in retirement and can even bring you money even when you are on holiday enjoying your retirement.

Just imagine the best of the world when you are holidaying and your bank account still shows money keep coming in? This si the dream quite a lot of people like to have.

photo by Chee Shi

For those who work full time on employment, they only have their monthly wages to look forward to when on holiday whereas if you are self reliance in internet business, you do not have to worry about your money as it still earns you handsome income when you are sleeping.

Then you can really brag about You Only Live Once but Live Right.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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Today I am going to continue my online financial scams series as highlighted by the China Publi Security Bureau earlier this year, I believe we should share this knowledge about online financial scams so that more people are aware of the scams.

5. Fictitious Claims Scams

a. Fictitious car accident scam

The scammer acting as the relatives or friends of the victims of the car accidents, claiming that the accidents need to be settled immediately, demand the other party to transfer the compensation money.

b. Scammed kidnap plot

The Scammer informed the victims's relative that the victims have been kidnapped and unless ransoms are paid to a specific bank account and also warned that police should not be reported, if not, they will kill the victims.

c. Surgery Scam

Scammer informs the victim's parents or children that the kids or the parents need surgery immediately due to sudden attack of sickness, demand the victims remit the money before treatment can be made.

d. Dire Strait Situation Scam

Scammer act as if he is serious financial, life threatening sickness and so on and appeal to the public via social media hoping to secure some donations.

e. Reported parcel with drug scam

Scammer informs the victim that the parcel addressed to the victims was found to contain drug and required the victim to pay some money to the National Security Account so that proper investigation can be carried.

f. photo shopped obscene and lewd photos scam

Scammers collect the photos of public servants and use the computer to photoshop into obscene pictures and mail to the victim attached with the bank account number, threatening and blackmailing the public servants to pay up or risk being exposed.

g. Abortion Cost Scam

Scammer impersonating as the children to send short messaging to the parents knowing very well how the parents love their children, and convince the parents to transfer money for abortion cost.

6. Daily Living Scam

a. Impersonating as Land Lord Scam

Scammer impersonates the land lord and send short messaging to the tenants informing the tenant that the landlord bank card and account numbers have on changed and advise the tenants to pay their rental to a specified account.

b. Telephone Bill Scam

Scammer acted as they are from the tel co, calls the consumers or using the prerecorded voice message informing the consumer to pay their outstanding bills to a designated bank account.

c. Tax Rebate On Goods Purchase Scam

After obtaining the particulars and information about the victims' recent purchases of houses or cars, the scammers calls the victims to informs the victims that due to the changes in tax policies, hence they are entitled for rebate of tax and duties, ask the victims to go to ATM to execute the transfer.

d. Change of Air Tickets Scam

Scammer act as official from the airline customer service, informing the victim that due to the cancellation of flights, refund of air ticket and changes of services, require the victims to make payments on the transactions.

e. Online Ticket Booking Scam

Scammers created a fake website for ticket booking, using a much lower ticket prices to attract victims to purchase tickets online and after that using the reason that the transaction was not successful and required the victims to keep making payment online.

f. ATM Scam

Scammer jams the ATM cash dispenser slot and then paste a fake phone hot line service number at the ATM, after the victim used the number to call and they obtain the necessary details of the victims, they wait for the victim to go away and retrieve the card from the ATM and withdraw the money using the cards.

g. Credit Card Scam

Scammer calls the victim informing the victim that their credit cards details have been exposed and required the victim to provide the necessary information to scam the victim.

h. Remittance Scam

Scammers using the group chat short messaging method to require the victims to remit money to certain bank accounts, normally this happen when the victim was in the process of making remittance to banks, so without checking, they will just act on the information and make the remittance to the bank account of the scammers.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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This is my third series on the Online Financial Scams.

In the second series, I quoted some online financial scams as published and advised by the Public Security Bureau of China.

In this, I elaborate more on the advice given by The Public Security Bureau of China

2. Purchasing Scams

a. Impersonating supplier to scam

The scammers act like the real online suppliers, using attractive discounts, helping to purchase from overseas as bait, once the buyers remit the money, use the excuse that the goods have been retained by Customs, need to pay additional tax as excuses, ask the buyers to pay additional amounts to carry out their scams.

b. Refund scam.

The scammers impersonate the online merchants like Taobao or JD customers services, call or message the buyers, to inform them that the goods purchased are out of stock and they need to refund the money remitted and ask the buyers to provide the bank card numbers and password and other information, to carry out their scam.

c. Online purchase scam

The scammers open online platform, once the buyers place orders, they inform that the buyers that the platform faced some problem and need to reboot. After that using messaging system to send fictitious activation code, getting the buyers to fill in their particulars, to carry out their scam

d. rock bottom price goods scam

Scammers published message such as they have second hands goods, like vehicles, computers and goods confiscated by Custom Department ready to be sold, once intended buyers contact them, and get the innocent buyers pay the necessary deposit and processing fees and scammed the buyers.

e. Termination of installment payment scam

The scammer impersonate the website workers and informed the customers that due to bank system error, require the victims to go to the ATM to terminate the installment payment plan and execute a cash transfer.

f. Collector scam

Scammers impersonating officer from the Collector Association, print invitations to all places claiming they are holding auction of collectors items and leave the contact number. Once the victims contact them, they will ask the victims to pay for valuation and assessment fees and require the victims to remit the amounts to designated bank account.

g. Courier receipt scam.

Scammer impersonating they are from courier company and call the victim that there is a courier item to be delivered, however the address and information are not clear, hence require the victim to provide clearer information before goods are delivered, once the victim signed receipt, they will call and inform that the victim has acknowledged prepay of money, if they do not do so, the debt collection company will look for them.

3. Events/ Activities Scams

a. Promoting fictitious charities' message

Scammers put up a missing person poster and ask good Samaritan will help to spread the news about the missing person without realizing that the contact number posted is a scamming phone number.

b. "like" scam

Scammer post as merchants who promote the 'click like' will win prize campaign, requiring participants to provide their name, contact number and other personal data to a social media platform, after securing enough data, they call the victim and inform them that they have won a prize, however to claim their prize, they need to pay certain amount to guarantee their prize.

4. Incentive Inducement Scams

a. Impersonating well-known corporate for lottery won.

Scammers impersonating a well-known enterprise and printed a lot of high resolution lottery tickets and mail to targets, after that will inform the victims that they need to pay personal income tax for the winnings and ask the victims to disclose their main bank accounts numbers to remit the money.

b. Win prizes in entertainment program.

Scammers use the popular entertainment program to message the victims that they had won the lucky draw prize, however to get the prize, they need to furnish their income tax number or pay a guarantee amount to secure the prize.

c. Bonus Points Scam

Scammer call the victims telling the victim that their phone points are entitled to convert to cash, seducing the victims to click on the phishing link, if the victims click on the link and input their bank details and passwords, their account balance will be transferred away.

d. QR Code Scam

Using discount, incentive as bait, ask the victim to scan the QR Code to be a member, the QR Code has a Trojan Horse in it and once scanned, the scammer will use that Trojan Horse to steal the particulars of the victims' bank details.

e. Paying huge sum for a kid scam

The scammer tell the victim that he is willing to pay huge sum to have a kid and is prepared to pay the sum to show is sincerity

f. Highly Paid Job Scam

Scammers, via social media, advertise that they are hiring professional with attractive salary and request any victims to be at the designated place for interviews, after that demanding the victims to pay for training, uniform and guarantee fees.

g. Email Scam

Scammers use email to inform victims that they have won lucky prizes and once the victim contacts the scammer, scammer tell victim that they need to pay for the income tax for winning the prize and also the guarantee fees for the prizes and demand the victim to remit money to secure their prizes.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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2

The China Public Security Bureau last month published a list of the online scams on their website to warn people of the usual scammers' tricks.

The report was a very comprehensive list consisting of 60 methods used by the scammers.

The methods used were summarized by the China Public Security Bureau into the followings categories:

  1. Impersonating officials.
  2. Purchase scams.
  3. Events/Activities scams.
  4. Incentive inducement scams.
  5. Fictitious claims scams.
  6. Daily living scams.
  7. Trojan Horse, phishing scams.
  8. Other new illegal cheating scams

1. Impersonating officials/ other people identities.

a. Impersonating some leaders to cheat: 

The scammers impersonate some leaders to make calls to some heads of departments on the pretext of selling books; or some memorial coins to scam the departments concerned to remit money to the designated bank accounts.

b. Impersonating relatives to scam: 

Using Trojan Horse malware to obtain target internet user names and passwords. After obtaining the required IM information, they use the targeted user's ID and password to inform the relatives that there has been an emergency or accident and then requested the relatives to remit money to some accounts.

c. Impersonating CEO s of companies: 

Scammers use the companies internal communication system to understand the communication between the CEO and the employees. After that they impersonate the CEO to instruct the staff to transfer some money to their accounts.

d. Scam on subsidies, scholarships and study grants: 

Impersonating education officials, relevant authority or officials to call or send short messages to parents or students, claiming they can help to get the money needed by them. They then ask the victims to provide the necessary cards' numbers, then instruct the victim to transfer some money in order to receive the main money.

e. Impersonating police officers: 

The scammers call the victims and inform them that they are from the police department and tell the victims that their personal data has been used in some illegal money laundering transactions and they need to transfer the money to the national bank accounts to assist in some investigations.

f. Impersonating identity: 

Scammers act like they are some rich and highly qualified persons. After gaining the trust and confidence of those they call, they will then pretend there are some financial issues or their relatives badly need some financial assistance and so try and scam their friends.

g. Medical insurance and social security scams: 

The Scammers act like they are from the Medical insurance or Social Security departments and inform the victims that there are some irregularities in their accounts and they need to do some investigations. Then they use their new status to convince the victims to give them the necessary information.

h. Guess who I am: 

Scammers call the victims and ask them to guess who they are. They pretend they know each other very well, and they will proceed to borrow money from their unsuspecting victims. Some victims fail to verify the identity of the callers and straight away remit the money to the bank account provided by the scammers.

The above is the first series of the information on Online Financial Scams 

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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12

If you talk to anyone whom you know very well, it is likely that they will tell you they don't believe they could be targeted by the online scammers or they will ever get (caught or) scammed (by scammers).

It is human nature to think that this will only happen to others and not us, it is a myth to believe that negative incidents and bad luck only happen to others.

There are a lot of online scams nowadays as technology gets more sophisticated and advanced. Any invention is a double edged sword. It depends on the users and the creators whether it is put to good use or otherwise.

What Are Some Common Online Scams?

  1. Email Scams
  2. Credit Cards Scams
  3. FaceBook Scams
  4. Job Offer Scams
  5. Investment Scams
  6. Financial Training Scams
  7. Wechat IM scams

1. Email Scams

There have been a lot of scams using emails. I have received a fair number of these emails from people claiming they worked in certain banks and the bank customers had passed away. Hence their funds were sitting idle in the bank and they could help get the funds out and so on.

Example of the email scam

2. Credit Cards Scams

At the back of the credit card, there is a Card Verification Code, commonly known as CVC number. Banks tell us that the CVC number is unique and we are not supposed to let anyone know this number as this is one of the safety features of the credit cards besides the chip on the card.

However every time we do an online purchase, the merchant requires us to fill in the CVC number. Previously when there was no CVC number, we only had to fill in the credit card 16 digit numbers. Due to various credit cards fraud cases, the banks decided to create the CVC as a security measure and to verify that the user is the legal card holder.

So, if you pay for something online and you are required to key in the CVC number, how do you know the number will not be captured by any malware or whatever if the online system is hacked.

3. Facebook Scams

There are a lot of fake Facebook accounts. Facebook does not ensure that those who register for the accounts are legitimate. Users can use any names to register and open an account. As such, it is quite difficult to determine whether the person you befriend or connect with on Facebook, are really who they say they are even thought they use photos in their profiles.

It can be quite dangerous, especially with online transactions, cyber bullying and even false "friends".

On 16th February 2019, The Straits Times of Singapore reported that at least SGD $ 1 m lost to Facebook impersonation scams between January 2018 and February 2019, according to the Singapore Police Force. It was further reported that the Police had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring money to the scammers.

To read more of this, you may want to access the Straits Times of Singapore for more details.

4. Job Offers Scam

Another big scam which i came across is the job offers scam. You may receive an email informing you that you have been offered a job or selected to work for a certain company overseas and so on. Then they send you a contract and tell you to contact an "authorized" travel agent to process your work visa and whatever paperwork you may need to work in the country where the job is.

They may also tell you to pay for the cost of the permit or visa and remit the money to certain bank account. If you bank in any money it will be gone and if you try to query them on the legibility of the procedure, they will not bother to reply to your email. Your money will just be lost.

Example of job offers scam

5. Investment Scams

This is the most common scam and there are aplenty online where many claim to get rich making at least a thousand dollars per day by signing up for the offer.

A lot of Option Trading platforms claim to make their investors rich within minutes. If people fall for this, they may soon discover they are not able to withdraw their capital and their so called winnings. After a while, the platform will no longer be available. It has been reported (discovered) that these were operated by a group residing in certain countries in the Middle East specializing in this scam.

6. Financial Training Scams

This is another scam which claims to be legitimate and provides financial training for people who want to learn how to invest or trade online. (They offer to conduct the necessary training so tht you are able to trade online). During the course of the training, they ask you to open an account with a trading platform so that they can guide you in your investments. The platform is similar to the platform mentioned in No. 5 above.

If you check the caller ID, it may look like they made the phone call is made from the country you are residing in. However, when you call back, you discover that the number is not a local number and cannot be reached. Before you know it, any money you put in is completely lost!

7. Wechat IM scams

Currently there are a lot of scams using the Wechat IM system. Usually in these scams, the culprits try to trick the victims into giving them their online credits or gift cards for making purchases, usually in exchange for sexual favors

Above are some online financial scams now commonly used to try to scam people who are ignorant. They usually work on the greed of people who want to get rich quickly and easily.

(You Know You Only Live Once and), if we are not alert and prudent, we can easily fall for these scams. Many have lost their hard-earned life savings and have had their retirement plans shattered.

If you have doubts on how to detect online financial scams, you may want to check out Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts I find this FTC site has very useful information to help in our effort to detect online financial scams and save us from any unnecessary financial losses.

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10

During retirement or when preparing for retirement, one of the questions people like to ask was how much would be enough for us to retire without any financial worry and independent?

Then the next thing is the myths of retirements and the reality of it, how do we handle these issues?

So what are the myths of retirements?

  1. We can start preparing for our retirement later.
  2. Our Savings will be enough for our retirement.
  3. We will spend less in our retirement life.
  4. We will have a lot of free times during our retirement.
  5. Health issues do not slow down a person until much later.
  6. We can start our savings plan for retirement later.
  7. The health insurance will be taken care of.
  8. Invest in safe and stable financial instruments to lower risk and preserve capital.
  9. The Retirement Fund is sufficient for retirement.
  10. Still, can work during retirement.

1. We can start preparing for our retirement later.

People like to put off what they are supposed to do to a later date especially on retirement. And this is quite a serious problem if we do that as the longer we put off our retirement financial plan or wealth plan, the less we will have accumulated for our targeted funding for retirement.

The power of compound interest will come into play in our wealth plan and the later we start savings for our wealth plan, the less amount we will have in term of compounded interests accumulated. Which will be quite a substantial amount which we may regret later for not starting earlier.

2. Our savings will be enough for our retirement.

Enough Money for Retirement?

Whether the amount saved for retirement is enough or not, is anybody guess, there does not seem to be an amount which is the right amount for retirement as there are so many variable involved and also very much depend on where one is residing and the lifestyle one has and hoping to have upon retired.

3. We will spend less when we are retired.

Nice Food For Retirement

I hear a lot of this when I talk to people about retirement and the usual norm is one will spend less when one is retired. Is it really the case? some may have more to spend on health and medical, others may have to spend more when they move to a new place to retire instead of staying put at the place they used to live during the working life.

4. Having a lot of free time during our retirement.

Relaxing on Retirement

Conversation I have with people going to retire is they currently put off whatever they want to do until retirement because they have the impression that they will have a lot of free time during retirement and they can do whatever they plan to do.

The reality is -- do you really have a lot of free time during retirement?

It will be a shock to some people when they find out they need to adjust their retirement plan as they go along and realize they are busier than their working life!!! as when they are getting used to retirement life and find out they have planned a lot of activities and not able to cope with.

5. Health issue does not slow a person until much later.

There is a possibility that once a person retires and suddenly there is no much pressure and stress, the body takes time to adjust to relax mood and all of a sudden, those problems in the body start surfacing and the person will face a lot of sickness such as hearing issue, movement problem, pain and aches and so on and this will surely mean we need to incur more to solve these healths issue.

6. We can start our saving plan for retirement much later.

A lot of people decide to delay the start of saving for retirement and prefer to pay off the house mortgage, children education loan and so on without realizing that the more we delay the start of the savings plan, the more we need to save in the later years in order to have a bigger nest of funds for retirement and we may have to adopt a more aggressive.

As mentioned earlier, the power of compound returns which can help to achieve financial security.

7. The health insurance will be taken care of.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Quite a lot of people depend on the health insurance for the golden year and most of the time the policies which were purchased in their younger day do not seem to be the right policies for the purpose intended and if a new health policy is required to meet the requirement, it will be very costly.

The next question one needs to ask is, what are really covered in the health insurance?

8. Invest in safe and stable financial instruments to lower risk and preserve capital.

This is a big headache for a retiree to consider, to move to a stable and low risk investment, the return may not be as high, this will affect the growth of your savings fund, the immediate problem one needs to face will be the rate of inflation will be higher than the return on investment.

If the rate of inflation is higher than the growth and return on investment of the fund, sooner or later it will affect the availability of the fund for sustaining the lifestyle of retirement, and the situation will become more acute if one's life expectancy is more than 90 years old.

9. The retirement fund is sufficient for retirement.

People may have set aside some fund specifically for retirement besides the savings they have, the main question one needs to ask is - whether the money in total set aside for retirement is sufficient and if it is not, what needs to be done to ensure we have enough for retirement.

How do we determine the retirement fund is sufficient? there is no any hard and fast rules on this, it all very much depends on the needs and requirement of each individual.

10. Still, can work during retirement.

Plant Durian in Retirement

A lot of people have the idea that retirement means stop working, which will actually cause a lot of issues and problems,

Are we retiring from work or from life? there is a different between the two and we have to make sure we are not retired from life and do nothing.

If we used to work every day and active, when suddenly we drop every thing we are doing and declare " I am retired", that is the end of it, a lot of problems will arise and you will be facing a lot of issues if you are not able to adjust to the retired lifestyle, sooner or later, the mind may be as sharp as it used as suddenly one stops using the mind, as we know, our mind stays sharp the more we use our brain and our mental will stay healthy if we consider using it.

Likewise, our body also stays healthy and mobile if we consider to exercise and move around more often instead of just sitting around and lazying away.

We may want to start a second career which is less taxing than our first and enjoy retirement at the same time, not to mention it may generate and supplement our income for retirement.

So, what can we do to mitigate the impact on retirement and at the same time enjoy our retirement?

For those people whom I have had discussion with, I always encourage them to start a second career or do something less taxing and which can generate income for their retirement at the same time can learn some new skills.

With the advancement of technology and availability of internet, it is good those who want to retire or soon to retire can start learning some skills about online business.

I found that Wealthy Affiliate is a good platform for a person to learn, a person can learn a lot from Wealthy Affiliate, such as learning how to create a website of your own, how to use the internet in a more productive way, how to link with other social media and so on, some basic computer skills which will come handy when one retired and have ample time to learn in this WA community.

By doing so, it can also help to keep a person's mind sharp and in a healthy state.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments and questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback and comments and sharing of your experience.

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