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27 months’ probation for teen who scammed Foodpanda of S$15,500, Gojek of S$500

SINGAPORE — An 18-year-old who pulled off a string of scams, including cheating food delivery firm Foodpanda of S$15,500 by claiming his orders had not arrived and receiving refunds for them, was sentenced to two years and three months’ probation on Wednesday (Nov 3).

27 months’ probation for teen who scammed Foodpanda of S$15,500, Gojek of S$500

An 18-year-old managed to cheat food delivery firm Foodpanda of S$15,500 by claiming his orders had not arrived.

  • A teenager duped Foodpanda into refunding him for more than S$15,000 worth of orders
  • He made S$1,000 to S$2,000 reselling the alcohol he received and earned 
  • He then booked S$576 worth of Gojek rides and did not pay for them through a loophole 
  • He also cheated men out of money by posing as women offering sexual services on online site Locanto
     

SINGAPORE — An 18-year-old who pulled off a string of scams, including cheating food delivery firm Foodpanda of S$15,500 by claiming his orders had not arrived and receiving refunds for them, was sentenced to two years and three months’ probation on Wednesday (Nov 3).

He also managed to cheat two men of more than S$3,000 through fake online advertisements for sexual services and cheated ride-hailing firm Gojek of about S$500.

As part of his probation conditions, he has to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am, perform 80 hours of community service and attend a court review in five months’ time before District Judge Kessler Soh.

The judge also ordered for him to be placed on an electronic monitoring scheme for six months, or until he enlists for National Service.

His parents posted a bond of S$5,000 to ensure his good behaviour during the probation period.

He had pleaded guilty in September to four counts of cheating and accessing a computer programme to commit cheating. Five other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

He cannot be named because he committed some of the offences before he was 18 and the the Children and Young Persons Act bans the publication of the identities of such young offenders.

Probation does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences. 

He was not sentenced to reformative training — a regimented rehabilitation programme for those under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes — after the judge had called for a report to assess if he was suitable for it.

WHAT HE DID

The court previously heard that in January last year, the teenager hatched a scheme to cheat Foodpanda by ordering meals to his home in Jurong West.

After receiving the items, he called Foodpanda’s customer service and claimed that he did not receive the items, prompting the firm to refund him for the items.  

From April onwards, he switched to ordering groceries and alcohol from Foodpanda and claiming refunds for these items.

He maintained the ruse on 81 occasions from January to August last year, evading detection by using 58 different email addresses and phone numbers.

He consumed and used the food and groceries himself, and earned about S$1,000 to S$2,000 by reselling the alcohol on Telegram chat groups and e-marketplace Carousell.

A fleet engagement manager from Foodpanda made a police report on Aug 21 last year after receiving feedback from riders about the possible refund scam.

Separately, around this period, the teenager learned that he could register a Gojek account and book rides through the DBS PayLah mobile application.

To get “free rides”, he could cancel PayLah as a payment method and change his contact number to a random overseas mobile number so that he would not be charged for the rides.

The teenager managed to book 25 rides worth S$576 for himself and his friends using this method from Sept 19 to 21 last year. 

Every time Gojek blocked his account, he would start a new one with a new email address and phone number.

Gojek’s trust and safety manager made a police report saying that it had detected a spike in PayLah arrears, particularly those associated with certain mobile numbers.

Separately, the youth approached his Institute of Technical Education classmate in February last year to ask if he was interested in earning fast cash. 

He claimed that he was selling goods online and asked the other boy for his bank account details, so that the “customers” could transfer money to it. 

The other boy agreed to this, keeping 5 per cent of the money he received as commission.

The accused then created a profile on classified sites Locanto, saying he was a 19-year-old girl named Celine who could provide sexual services for cash. 

A 27-year-old victim then contacted Celine on Telegram and said that he was interested to be friends with sexual benefits.

Posing as Celine, the accused told the victim to pay a deposit of S$100 before arranging to meet. The accused then asked him to make more payments for things such as condoms and birth control pills.

The victim transferred S$2,186 in total before growing suspicious and filing a police report.

The police froze the bank account and then called the accused’s classmate in for questioning. 

When the classmate contacted the accused, he admitted that he was running a scam, and told him to lie to the police that he had been recruited by an unknown person on Telegram.

A few months after the account was unfrozen in June last year, the accused approached the classmate again, asking if he was interested in running the scam together, this time offering a 20 per cent commission.

The accused then created another Locanto profile named Tricia and cheated a 22-year-old man into transferring about S$1,250 for sexual services. The victim made a police report in November last year.

Related topics

court crime Foodpanda Gojek cheat sexual services

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