Netizen alerts public to credit card phishing scam happening in Singapore

Facebook user Tsang Keng Swee shared about a new type of scam which may have started in Singapore. He said that about 2 weeks ago, he had delivery of wine from an unknown sender and that all he had to do to verify his age to the courier to receive an alcoholic beverage was to swipe his credit card. But the scammers cloned his credit card and illegally withdrew money from his account.

The Facebook user has since made a police report. His post has gone viral with about 1,400 shares. Tsang said that he was sharing his story to alert the general public about this new scam in Singapore.

A check on the internet shows that this kind of scam is not new and had happened in other major cities around the world. Besides wine, the fraudsters may use other delivery items like flowers to phish credit card details.

Property
July 20, 2020Property / USAThe U.S. commercial real estate market is showing ever greater signs of stress, but there are still few deals to be had. Transactions fell 68 per cent in the second quarter across all property types compared with 2019 as potential buyers and sellers remained far apart on the prices of buildings, according to data released Wednesday by Real Capital Analytics. The paralysis set in despite near-record amounts of capital ready to be deployed by some of the world’s biggest real estate investors. “The buyer and seller expectations are not aligned,” said Simon Mallinson, an executive managing director at RCA. “Sellers aren’t being forced to the market because there’s no realized distress and buyers are sitting on the sidelines thinking there’s going to be distress.” Industrial Strength Second-quarter sales plunged 70 per cent for apartments, 71 per cent for offices, 73 per cent for retail and 91 per cent for hotels, according to RCA. Industrial property transactions were a brighter spot. Sales dropped only 50 per cent in the second quarter, as online shopping thrived and manufacturers leased space to avoid supply chain disruptions. For markets to function, there needs to be some agreement on what assets are worth. But the surging coronavirus outbreak is fueling uncertainty, making the outlook for commercial property just as cloudy as it was in March when lockdowns put the economy into deep freeze. Dry Powder Whether investors will come off the sidelines any time soon remains to be seen. Private real estate funds had about $273 billion for property purchases at the end of June, little changed from the record $281 billion six months earlier, according to Preqin Ltd. With the economic fallout from the pandemic mounting, deals have fallen apart or are being reworked. The buyer of the iconic Transamerica pyramid in San Francisco is going forward with its deal — but at a 10 per cent price cut from what it negotiated at the beginning of the year, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private talks. A spokesperson for Transamerica said the parties are moving toward a closing, and declined to share additional details. More than $32 billion of hotel and retail real estate was newly distressed in the first half of 2020, as rent delinquencies soared and borrowers missed payments, according to RCA. Buying Time Approximately $90 billion more of commercial real estate is “potentially troubled,” RCA reported, meaning it’s in a forbearance plan, suffering rent collection problems or early-stage delinquencies. That includes $14.5 billion for offices and $20 billion for apartments. Still, delinquent borrowers don’t face pressure to sell yet. Lenders are focused on ways to buy time, delaying distressed property from coming to market, according to Lisa Pendergast, executive director of the CRE Finance Council, a commercial real estate trade group. “It’s becoming clearer, especially with the resurgence in cases across the country, that a three-month forbearance is not really going to satisfy the situation,” she said. “So there are other things that can be done. A lot of that has to do with loan modifications.” Cheap Money Prices have also been propped up by low interest rates. Low borrowing costs mean investors can expect higher returns on real estate than Treasury bonds, even if vacancy rates rise or tenant delinquencies increase, according to Michael Fascitelli, former chief executive officer of Vornado Realty Trust. “The cost of money is one of the biggest costs of an asset for real estate,” Fascitelli said recently. – Bloomberg Post Views: 785 Link to this post! [...]
August 8, 2017Property / SingaporeThe Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) first Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise has been oversubscribed by about four times, with more than 5,500 applications received for the 1,394 flats on offer as of 5pm on Monday (Aug 7). SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) first Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise has been oversubscribed by about four times, with more than 5,500 applications received for the 1,394 flats on offer as of 5pm on Monday (Aug 7). Of the total number of applicants so far, 2,647 are applying for an HDB flat for the first time, while another 2,175 are second-timers. The remaining applicants include singles as well as elderly residents who have applied at least twice before. The ROF exercise pools all flats that remain unsold after a Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, to help those with more urgent housing needs or who are less particular about location and attributes to have quicker access to a flat. In all, 1,394 unsold flats from the November 2016 SBF exercise were offered again. They include 110 two-room Flexi flats, 384 three-room flats, 624 four-room flats, 260 five-room flats, seven 3Gen flats and nine executive flats across various towns and estates. “The ROF is more flexible especially for families that have urgent housing needs but are not particular about location and flat type,” real estate agency OrangeTee’s head of research and consultancy Wong Xian Yang said. “For example if I’m looking for a flat – maybe my first choice is in Punggol, but I don’t mind Sengkang – because the ROF pools together unsold flats from several estates, there’s a higher chance you’ll be able to find something.” “It’s also for families looking to move in soon, if they’re not willing to wait two-and-a-half to four years for a BTO flat,” he added. According to HDB, ROF applicants will know the ballot results from about a week after the application period closes. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to select and book a flat if there are available units, with the flat selection appointment taking place one to five months after applications close. During the selection appointment, applicants can select the location and flat type from the range of flats listed. The ROF method of balloting may also have its upsides, according to SLP International’s head of research and consultancy, Nicholas Mak. “The ROF exercise does solve some of the inherent problems that were experienced in the SBF flats system,” Mr Mak said. “This time round, the type of flats that the buyers would be offered does depend on the luck of the draw – after all they would be based on the outcome of a ballot.” “So perhaps balloting is a fair way of allocating scarce resources like HDB public housing,” Mr Mak added. About 71 per cent of flats offered under the ROF exercise are already completed. “Going forward, the subscription rates for ROF exercises are expected to remain healthy,” said Mr Wong. “There’s still good demand for families looking for new HDB flats that are either completed or nearing completion.” The ROF flats are part of the 5,291 flats put up for sale by HDB last Tuesday. They include 3,897 flats under the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, which range from two-room Flexi to five-room flats. They are spread across three projects in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok and Sengkang. First-timer families get higher priority, HDB said previously, with at least 95 per cent of the flat supply set aside for them. BTO SUBSCRIPTION RATES DECLINING The overall subscription rate for BTO flats, meanwhile, continued its downward trend as compared to previous launches. As at 5pm, the overall subscription rate for three-room and bigger flats was 1.6, or three applications for every two flats. The rate was 2.9 in May 2017, and 3.3 in February 2017. This is also party due to the location of the flats launched. “The difference between May and August’s exercises is that in August, all the units launched were in non-mature estates as compared to May, when they were in Bidadari and Geylang,” said Mr Wong. He added: “Singaporean households tend to favour homes in mature estates, because there’s more amenities in the area, so it tends to be more convenient. That could be one reason for the slight drop in subscription rates.” The limited choices in August’s BTO exercise may have also contributed to a lower subscription rate, said Mr Mak. “There are only projects in two towns that are being offered. And I think the other reason is that there (are) a lot more choices in the new ROF system, and that may have drawn away some of the interest,” he said. “For some of the buyers, they are also able to turn to the resale market or are attracted to the HDB resale market because prices have softened and have stabilised.” The public housing market may also be reaching a “level of equilibrium”, according to Mr Mak. “The Government is still keeping up a steady supply of new HDB flats especially for the first-timers, hence we see this gradual decline in the application rate for the BTO flats,” Mr Mak said. “In fact in this round of exercise, the application rate for first-timers is less than two. Some of them are just at 1.0 to 1.1 times, meaning that almost every applicant among the first-timers will have a chance to apply and even get the flat they apply for,” he added. Applications for new flats launched in this month’s exercise can be submitted via the HDB InfoWeb portal till midnight on Tuesday. According to HDB, ROF exercises will be held twice yearly for a start in February and August, alongside BTO exercises. Source: CNA/nc Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/first-re-offer-of-balance-flats-exercise-oversubscribed-by-9099676 Post Views: 1,557 Link to this post! [...]
August 1, 2017News / PropertyBlocks of HDB housing flats around Whampoa area in the central part of Singapore. PHOTO: ST FILE SINGAPORE – There will be 5,291 flats for sale from Tuesday (Aug 1), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced. These include 3,897 Build-To-Order (BTO) units in the third BTO exercise this year, and 1,394 units under the first ever Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise. This brings the total number of flats launched by HDB this year to 18,095. Applications can be submitted online on the HDB InfoWEB until next Monday (Aug 7). The BTO flats offered are in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok and Sengkang. The ROF flats are unsold balance flats from the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise in November last year, and come in a wide range of flat types, locations and prices. PHOTO:  HDB PHOTO: HDB HDB said that about 71 per cent are already completed, while the rest are under construction. “Under this new sales mode, home buyers will be able to select their flats quicker, and from a bigger pool of balance flats of different flat types and in different locations,” HDB said. Applicants are encouraged to apply for a BTO flat in non-mature towns, as there is a higher chance of success in securing one, along with more grants. Those with more urgent housing needs and are less particular about location can consider applying for an ROF flat. Information on the exercise is available on the HDB InfoWEB. The next BTO exercise in November will see about 4,800 flats in Geylang, Punggol, Sengkang and Tampines, concurrently with a SBF exercise. Post Views: 1,655 Link to this post! [...]
July 28, 2017PropertyProspective buyers at a condominium showroom. (TODAY file photo)  SINGAPORE: Private home prices in Singapore fell for the 15th straight quarter in the April to June period, although the pace of decline eased, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Friday (Jul 28). Prices fell by 0.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter, compared with the 0.4 per cent decline in the first quarter and the 0.5 per cent decline in the last quarter of 2016.   Prices of landed properties declined by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter, easing from the 1.8 per cent decrease in the previous quarter. Prices of non-landed properties declined 0.1 per cent, after remaining unchanged in the previous quarter, according to URA. Prices of non-landed properties in the Core Central Region (CCR) decreased by 0.5 per cent, compared with the 0.4 per cent drop in the previous quarter. Prices of non-landed properties in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) increased by 0.6 per cent, while those in the Outside Central Region (OCR) fell by 0.3 per cent. Commenting on the price declines, ERA’s key executive officer Eugene Lim said: “Overall in H1 2017, prices have only decreased marginally by 0.4 per cent. This is much better than the 1.1 per cent price decrease seen in H1 2016. It looks increasingly certain that the market is nearing its turning point.” He said that as economic growth remains on track for the 2 to 3 per cent forecast for 2017, and with the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently saying that cooling measures will remain, he expects prices to move “sideways”. “All in all, we are projecting a zero to 1 per cent price decrease for 2017, much less than the 3.1 per cent decline in 2016,” he said. RENTALS FALL FURTHER Rentals of private residential properties also fell 0.2 per cent, after declining 0.9 per cent in the previous quarter, URA said. image: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/image/9071900/0x0/659/323/66f6b3cebe405358d49f9b43947a7995/jv/ura-rental-index-q2.png Rentals of landed properties fell 0.1 per cent, while those of non-landed properties decreased by 0.2 per cent. Rentals of non-landed properties in CCR increased by 0.1 per cent, while those in RCR decreased by 0.4 per cent. Rentals in OCR also fell 0.6 per cent. “Perhaps rents are also reaching their turning point, as we gradually pass the supply peak,” ERA’s Mr Lim said. “In 2018 and 2019, there will only be about 8,400 private residential units completed per year. In comparison, there will be an estimated 16,544 private residential units completed in 2017 alone. “We should be expecting rents to recover from 2019 onwards,” he said, adding that for 2017, he is expecting a drop of 2 ro 3 per cent. LAUNCHES AND TAKE-UP Developers launched 2,011 private homes – excluding executive condominiums (ECs) – during the second quarter, compared with 1,949 units in the previous quarter. A total of 3,077 homes were sold, compared with the 2,962 units sold in the previous quarter. image: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/image/9071896/0x0/844/285/24a5c150a56070325696aaec588c74e4/dj/ura-private-property-indicators-q2.png Developers did not launch any ECs in the second quarter but sold 954 EC units over the period, compared with the 1,024 units launched and 1,072 units sold in the previous quarter. There were 3,698 resale transactions, compared with 2,170 in the previous quarter. Resale transactions accounted for 53.6 per cent of all sale transactions in the quarter, compared with 41.7 per cent in the previous quarter. There were 35,423 uncompleted private homes – excluding ECs – in the pipeline, compared with 36,942 in the previous quarter. Taking into account ECs, there were a total of 43,202 units in the pipeline. In total, 17,827 units units were unsold as of the end of the second quarter. Source: CNA/mz Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/private-home-prices-down-for-15th-straight-quarter-pace-of-9071814 Post Views: 1,249 Link to this post! [...]
July 20, 2017Property / SingaporeOnly 34 outbound investment deals were done in H1 2017, against 144 in 2016. Primary-market property sales are up at home, as are en bloc sales   THE capital flight to greener pastures abroad from Singapore has slowed to a trickle, amid a turnaround in the property market at home. Data compiled by Real Capital Analytics and Knight Frank Research shows that the number of outbound investment deals dwindled to 34 in the first half of 2017. The figure was 144 for last year, and 503 in 2015. The transaction value of deals done in the first half of the year also slid – to S$6.7 billion, from S$14.6 billion last year and S$37.7 billion in 2015. In 2015, there was an exodus of capital abroad from a poorly-performing domestic property market, as capital values of Singapore homes and commercial properties fell steadily in reaction to the government’s measures to cool the market. Ian Loh, Knight Frank’s executive director and head of investment and capital markets, said at the launch of the property consultancy’s inaugural “Active Capital” report on Wednesday: “Two years ago, when Singapore was relatively quiet, locally listed players were rethinking what to do with the money, which was why they ventured offshore to look into recurring income assets. “But since then, capital values in these markets have appreciated, and somehow, in many major cities, some sort of protection and stamp duties against foreigners have been introduced. Some of these investors have chosen to take profit in these overseas destinations. What then to do with the money? Meanwhile, Singapore is looking good.” Indeed, there are initial signs that the residential property market in Singapore is bottoming out. In the primary market, developers sold 6,388 private homes in the first six months of this year – just 20 per cent shy of the 7,972 units they moved in the whole of last year. Private home prices also appear to be close to their trough, with the 0.3 per cent fall in the official benchmark price index in Q2 being the smallest of the 15 quarters since the peak in Q3 2013. There has also been a pick-up in collective sale activity. Four deals have been done this year – One Tree Hill Gardens, Goh & Goh Building, Rio Casa and Eunosville – for about S$1.5 billion. The latest to be put on the market is Villa D’Este condominium in Dalvey Road, for S$96 million. The en bloc sale of two more condominiums, Dunearn Court and Normanton Park, are in the pipeline. As for the increase in foreign investors’ tax burdens, Australia in July introduced a capital-gains tax for foreigners, at 12.5 per cent for properties worth more than A$750,000. States such as New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have also raised the stamp duty for foreign property buyers. London has also in recent years imposed a capital-gains tax on foreigners, and raised the stamp duty for buy-to-let properties. The change in investment sentiment in Singapore’s property market has caused other countries to sit up; in recent months, many have started to pump money into the sector. Inbound investment data shows that in the first half of this year, the number of deals closed that involved foreign entities buying Singapore land or properties was 14, compared to 21 for the whole of last year. Transactions in the first half of this year were worth a total of S$5.5 billion, against S$8.9 billion in 2016. Much of this capital came from China and Hong Kong (see chart), and went into purchases of development sites in particular. This drove up bids and prodded local developers into raising their stakes in their bids. Many of these foreign bidders succeeded in clinching the sites. For instance, in May, Hong Kong-listed developer Logan Property, with Chinese conglomerate Nanshan Group, placed a S$1.003 billion bid for a housing site near Queenstown MRT station in Stirling Road. In June, Fantasia Investment (Singapore), a subsidiary of Chinese property developer Fantasia Holdings, won a residential land parcel in Hougang for S$75.8 million. Knight Frank’s Asia-Pacific research head Nicholas Holt said Chinese companies have been able to invest overseas despite the country’s curbs on capital outflows because they likely have overseas capital, either in foreign currency reserves or in offshore entities, including in Hong Kong. Guanxi, or connections with the authorities, also helps big institutions to get approval for their investments more easily. Late last year, Malaysia’s IOI Properties Group also shook the market with an aggressive S$2.57 billion bid in a hotly contested tender for a mixed-use Marina Bay site at Central Boulevard. Post Views: 1,428 Link to this post! [...]

Just in case you can’t read Tsang’s post, this is what he said.


New scam in sg..

This scam is actually very cleverly worked out that you will not suspect of anything wrong:

The following is an account of the incident.

《Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from a company called: “Express Couriers,” He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature .

The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a parcel and a bottle of wine. I was very surprised since there was no special occasion, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was.
The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.”
Apparently, he said the sender would want to give you a surprise and a card would be sent separately… , it happened that my birthday was on the way also, so we thought could be from a distant friend. There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $7.50 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for. He added they also don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled out his credit card, give to him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad and asked to key in the verification code.
Frankly at this point we never suspect anything ad normal and a receipt was printed out and given to us, he then wished us good day and went off as normal,

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $5000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit account at various ATM machines.

Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the delivery man carried had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details, of course with the verification code.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank to stop payment, but already too late.

We went to make a Police report, and was confirmed quite a number of households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

PLEASE Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

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