Scam alert: When you shared a story that was untrue


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Scam alert: When you shared a story that was untrue


Tay Wee Boon,
Supreme Court
We knew that the LTA was going to announce the new toll charges after Malaysia had raised theirs. When I received a fake LTA press release containing the revised fees, I shared it with my friends, only to realise later that it was a hoax. It was extremely awful to be asked: “You mean you in Civil Service also don’t know if it is real or not?” AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! What did I learn? Maybe next time, I will get the news from the newspapers instead. At least the press people will verify the information before publishing, since they cannot publish anything that is not verified.

Congratulations, Wee Boon! We’re sending you a How To Be S.U.R.E. comic guide and $100 worth of Popular bookstore vouchers so you can source for reliable newspapers. Enjoy!

Goh Zensen,
Zhonghua Primary School (MOE)
In August, my second brother saw a printed notice at the Telok Blangah RC and alerted us via Whatsapp that “… if there is someone holding a name card who knocks at your car window asking for directions, please do not open your car window, as there is a cutter placed under the name card which is used for slashing the victim’s face and robbing…” I wanted to circulate the advisory because it came from the RC and through my brother. Thank goodness I Googled the key words first and found that it had been debunked by the police as a hoax. I quickly alerted my siblings and they stopped spreading the message.

Hoh Yu Li,
It’s part and parcel of my work as an investigation officer to encounter scams and other tall tales. But that doesn’t mean we’re infallible. One day, my colleagues threw a party to celebrate their promotion, and ordered a magnificent chocolate cake. At the party, I was told that the cake had been baked in Switzerland and specially flown to Singapore. Astounded, I took a photo of the cake and shared it on social media. I was utterly dismayed when my colleagues told me, in between fits of laughter, that the cake was from a local bakery. From then on, I made sure that I had at least two or three separate sources of information verifying something before I would be sure of it.

Raihana Bte Mohamed Said, 
When I read on social media last year that Bill Cosby of The Cosby Show had passed away, I shared the news with my family confidently and sadly. My husband insisted that he was still alive and Googled him to prove to me that it was a social media prank. I have learnt not to believe what I read on social media without validating the source and story.

    Nov 12, 2014
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