A New Singapore Renovation Scam Resolved Recently

A New Singapore Renovation Scam Resolved Recently

To carry out your home’s new interior design project in Singapore, you’ll typically have to hire professionals. Unfortunately, there have been multiple examples of renovation-based scams in the past years. Recently, media in Singapore reported about the newest fraud scheme and the fact that the perpetrator was sentences to prison.

Singapore Interior Design Scheme Perpetrator Sentenced

The man was arrested after he and his wife scammed 74 home owners. Based on the investigation, the couple made over 1.6 million dollars from the scheme.

Aszrul Mohd Yusoff pleaded guilty on 18 charges of cheating. In addition, the court examined an additional count of 115 cheating charges also linked to the activities of Yusoff. Based on the evidence, he was found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

According to police reports, Yusoff’s wife was the mastermind behind the interior design fraud scheme.

She was previously arrested and sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison, after she was found guilty of 20 charges of cheating and one charge of criminal breach of trust.

The court was harsh in the sanctions because the fraud scheme involved a very big group of victims and a large sum of money, The Straits Times reported.

How the Fraud Scheme Worked

The interior design fraud scheme worked in a pretty basic, yet effective way.

Yusoff’s wife, Husniyati Omar, set up a company called Carpentry Design Works in 2016. She decided to benefit from one really well known fact in the realm of home renovations – such types of projects necessitate a solid upfront payment before the work can commence.

A short time later, the company opened two additional representative offices. It was run and operated by people appointed by Omar. Omar and Yusoff couldn’t run the operations themselves because they had previously declared bankruptcy. Still, all financial transactions and operational matters were under their supervision.

As Carpentry Design Works started advertising on social media, various Singapore homeowners decided to give the company a try. The company received an upfront payment and engaged in superficial, preliminary work aspects. A wall was hacked or there was partial carpentry work. Yusoff and Omar, however, never planned to bring the projects of their clients to completion.

As time went by and the work wasn’t completed, the victims of the scam started complaining to the Carpentry Design Works representatives. They were told that additional work on the project would be done after the completion of new payments.

The victims didn’t really have a choice. Police records show that many of them made the additional required payments in hoped of having the renovation completed in its entirety.

Yusoff and Omar also cheated sub-contractors who were hired to do the work. These contractors and companies never received a payment from Carpentry Design Works.

It all came to an end for the couple when a sub-contractor turned to the police in 2017.

Protecting Yourself from Singapore Interior Design Scams

This case isn’t an isolated example of scammers taking advantage of people who would like to get a cost-efficient home renovation.

Interior design fraud schemes typically feature low prices or much more favourable conditions than what other companies would be capable of providing. As a result, many people gullibly believe that they’ll get a brand new home by spending solely a fraction of the amount required to carry out a typical renovation.

A general rule of thumb to follow is that an offer that appears too good to be true probably is.

To protect yourself, always choose a reputable interior design company. It’s even better to get a recommendation from a friend or a person you know who has already relied on the services of the respective provider.

If you’re being asked for a very large upfront sum, you should also be cautious. There have been some scammers getting 80 to 90 per cent of the agreed-upon sum in the first weeks of project execution. After the payment is done, all work on the project stops and the home owner is left wondering how to deal with the consequences.

Online reviews can become another valuable and beneficial source of information.

Multiple clients mentioning the same issues or positives about working with a specific Singapore interior design company can help you rest assured that the information is trustworthy. Always look for reviews from multiple sources. Avoid the overly-positive and exceptionally negative testimonials. Actual customers will usually share both the positive and the negative aspects of hiring a specific interior designer (unless the contractor did an exceptionally bad job).

Finally, get a detailed contract that lists the full nature of the work that will have to be done. An interior design project contract will also highlight the deadline for the completion of various project stages, as well as the amount the client will have to pay before or after the completion of each stage.

Your contract should also highlight the sanctions and fines for a failure to meet the agreement terms and conditions. This way, you can rest assured that you’ll be compensated (even if you have to go to court) for any aspect of the interior design project execution that doesn’t follow the initial specifications.

Choose interior design companies that have been around for a long time and that have dozens of satisfied clients to eliminate the risk of fraud schemes completely.

Home Guide was established in 1992 and ever since, the size of our residential portfolio has been growing. We’ve worked with numerous clients through the years, helping them bring their specific renovation vision to reality.

Do not hesitate to contact Home Guide and let us know about the work that needs to be done. We will assess the condition of your Singapore home and give you an accurate estimate of the amount required to get the job done.

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