31 hawkers revealed to have been scammed by man posing as Shin Min editor

The man who impersonated a Shin Min Daily News editor to sell fake advertising packages has is revealed to have scammed at least 31 hawkers.

The incident came to light after a hawker from Pek Kio Food Centre told reporters that a man with curly hair, who claimed to be an editor from Shin Min Daily News, had been selling advertising packages to hawkers in the area.

Investigations revealed that the conman, who identified himself as ‘lauwu’, targetted many hawkers from Chinatown, Serangoon Gardens, and Hougang. 

In order to put on a more convincing front, the man also set up a website and a food blog, reports Shin Min Daily News via Lianhe Zaobao.

An owner of a Hokkien mee stall in Hougang told reporters on Jun 25 that the suspect had visited his stall last month (May) to sell the packages and the two conversed for over two hours.

Said the owner:

“He (the suspect) said that he would arrange for a photo shoot and an interview session.

“I thought the whole deal was legitimate until he mentioned a ‘management fee’.

“At first he said the fee was S$2,900, but he lowered it to S$500 later.

“I got suspicious after that.”

A name card provided by owner also listed a website, ‘MalaysiaBest’, supposedly run by the conman. 

Reporters discovered that the website had been in operation since 2012, and hosted many food review articles. 

They also observed that the website only started to publish articles on stalls in Singapore in October 2016, with over 31 local stalls being advertised on the site. 

Documents obtained revealed that the suspect had registered his website business in Malaysia in July, 2012, and subsequently set up another company in Singapore in July, 2016.

The Singapore company’s address was listed as an address along Tanjong Pagar Road.

Reporters have tried calling the suspect many times, but he has yet to pick up.