Camera Rental Scam 2019 – What We Know So Far
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
Image: CCTV Image of the 2 Scammers
Edit: Someone by the name of Eric commented that he knows them in person and the 03 are not biological brothers: to which we had edited the post and referred the comment and the commentor’s online ID/ IP address to the Police. We had disclaimed ourselves during the original press time that all information were submitted by victims who had approached us & or/by netizens. We had no part or not held responsible in any of the information that were posted if it had been incorrect.
2nd Edit: Earlier we posted an image of a lady (we came to know her name was Miss Sheena Rosly) with the suspect, we had been informed that the information was incorrect. We unreservedly apologise to Miss Sheena Rosly for any misunderstandings or inconveniences arising from the image which we had unconditionally removed. And we would like to Thank her for alerting us.
02th September 2019, Singapore – If you have been on social media the last few days, you would have heard about the hunt for a pair of scammers that had cheated many individuals & companies of photography equipment. Through the assistance of many victims that had stepped up the last few days and with information that we had gathered, we decided to put up this article so you will have a better understanding of this whole saga that had somewhat rocked the photography community over the last few days in Singapore. While the Singapore Police Force is on this case, we hope this article will also help prevent more victims from being scammed by these fellas.
What Had Happened and What we know so far.
The said duo uses a Carousell Account by the name of Yuzwan Zakaria and browse Photography listings for Equipment Rental. They target mostly high end equipment costing thousands of dollars. They will private message the potential rental persons/companies and pretend that they are interested to rent and try to ask for discounts etc etc.
Image: Screen grab of the scammers’ Carousell account.
Once a price is agreed, the duo will take turns to appear as the person who will be renting the equipment are using the same NRIC. It appears that the NRIC was either stolen or it had not been updated (as required by Singapore Law).
Image: The NRIC that the scammers took turns to use when meeting the renters & used this NRIC as a identification confirmation.
And so, this pair of scammers successfully rented a Super Tele-photo lens from our Lens Rental Department via Carousell as they met the minimal requirement of NRIC Verification and filling up a Rental Form. Everything seems proper until the date to return the equipment – they disappeared. They stopped responding to our calls, messages & private message.
Sensing something was wrong, a Police Report was made immediately then it dawn on us that this duo may try to offload the scammed gear so we circulated a Whatapps (with the NRIC) to our network of Rental Partner Companies, Used Camera Shops & Dealers – within 10 mins, one of our Partner Shops responded and confirmed that the duo had offloaded equipment at their store. A quick check with the store – they confirmed the equipment that the duo had sold them belongs to our rental partner.
While waiting for the Police to revert, we decided to do Citizen Policing and posted a status on one of our Facebook Page.
Image: The Status Update posted on one of our Page to warn others.
And soon, netizens started sharing like wildfire. Even other social sites helped in sharing. It’s times like this that you have to garner all the assistance you can get via social media and it did not went in vain.
Image: Other social pages also helped in sharing.
Then many Victims stepped up. We received several private messages from individuals that they too had been scammed by the duo. With some providing more information that we had forwarded to the Police IO. Some of these information are super helpful.
Another victim confirming that he got scammed and show us the very same NRIC of the scammers. However he described the scammer that collected his gear and somewhat made us confirmed that it is not a single person but a pair.
And even past Victims started sending us more information. From our descriptions and photos of the scammers, the below victim immediately recognized the face and sent us more information. And apparently, this duo has stun weapons and batons too.
As more information reached us – we had established that the Duo not only try to scam others on Carousell, they are also on ClubSnap, Locanto & other free Classified sites trying the same thing.
Then many things started to fall into place of logic. In August 2017, a guy & a gal were arrested for a similar scam involving camera rental – which the equipment are “rented” by the scammer and later resold online. In this case, the “Guy” mentioned in this case is one of the Duo that we are hunting for now. You can read about the previous case here.
Image: Screen grab from ST.
Apparently one of the Duo had just been released from the Prisons – which we suspected he is the “guy” who got arrested back in 2017. And So he is now out and back to scamming. Not just stopping at that, he managed to roped in 02 other friends too to scam others.
One of the victims informed us that while she met up with 02 of the scammers, they have another accomplice waiting for them at the car park – in other words, there’s more than 2 of them and the third drives. We had contacted the car park management pending their reply – hope to get a footage of their car plate so it will greatly assist the Police in their hunt for this scammers.
Image: Last seen at Peninsula Plaza on Friday 30th August 2019 & Sunshine Plaza on Sat 31st August 2019
And this saga had prompted one of our merchant Camera Rental Centre to update their Rental Terms & Conditions which we welcome the move. We are also in touch with Camera Rental Centre at the moment while this case is on.
– 03 Person Team.
– Malay Race
– Age between 30-35 years old.
– Possibly Driving.
– Possibly Armed.
– 02 with hair & 01 Bald
– All has distinctive tattoos.
If you come across any of the scammer above, stay calm, do not approach them, go to safe place, Call 999 and quote Case ID 7022 and request for assistance.
Justice will be Served.
Disclaimer: We offer No Apology if any of the information above is inaccurate as all the above information were mostly given to us from Victims. We are just doing a social service to warn others – as well as trying to get our Telephoto lens back. Lastly, don’t judge others by their race as we had seen our fair share of Chinese & Indian crooks.
Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.