GrabFood delivery rider told to 'bang the door loudly', almost gets punched in face in Tampines

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It is not easy being a food delivery rider, but getting assaulted should not be an occupational hazard.

A GrabFood rider said he was almost punched in the face while attempting a delivery, but he managed to duck.

He said he was told to "bang the door loudly" and now believes he was being used by a "tailong loanshark".

Rider Helmi Amy posted in the Facebook group "GrabFood Delivery Rider Singapore" on Sunday (Sept 4) to warn others that loansharks would order food and ask to pay cash on delivery.

Helmi said he was communicating with one via WhatsApp voice chat.

A screenshot of the WhatsApp chat shows a phone number with the Malaysia country code prefix "+60".

Another screenshot shows that Helmi was supposed to collect $13.10 cash from a Grab customer named Stafen Ho.

"He told me to bang the door loudly as his wife is sleeping," said Helmi in the post.

"(I) almost got punched in my face but luckily managed to duck and gave that brother one shot at him."

What appeared to have happened was that after Helmi banged on the door, whoever opened it thought Helmi was a loanshark and tried to punch him.

Helmi posted a video showing himself sitting on the floor outside the flat, smoking a cigarette and talking to a man wearing red shorts in the doorway.

"That's his father," said Helmi, adding that the son who owed money was a "coward" and hid in his room.

No faces are shown in the video and Malay was spoken. The conversation was mostly Helmi saying he wanted the son to pay and the father saying the son had no income. The video ends with the father trying to give Helmi some money, which Helmi refused.

Posted by Helmi Amy on Sunday, September 4, 2022

When contacted by Stomp, Helmi said the incident happened in Tampines.

In the comment section of his post, he said that he did not make a police report because it was too troublesome for $13.10 and in the time it would have taken to do so, he could be earning money making deliveries.

Police said that more unlicensed moneylenders are using food delivery services to harass debtors, reported The Straits Times in 2020. 

The moneylenders would order large amounts of food, or make multiple orders a day, to be delivered to the debtors' homes, often late at night. The delivery men would then request payment from the debtors for the food.

Because of this tactic, several food and beverage operators using food delivery services have suffered losses, the police said.

And one delivery rider almost got punched.