The Zhong Kui 鍾馗 Scam / Con Expose Series (3) – Boiler Room & the Cold Caller

Posted on August 30th, 2014 in Zhong Kui Zhua Gui (鍾馗抓鬼)



“Why do the con artists succeed time and again? It is because they know they can exploit the ignorance, vulnerability or very often, the greed of their victims. Con artists often succeed because people hear the promise of easy money and they throw caution to the winds. They do not ask themselves questions, let alone do due diligence on the offer.”

Mr Tan Siong Thye, Director of Commercial Affairs Department, 2004

Boiler Room & the Cold Caller Scam


“I am calling from Tan & Hock investment products and we have a great offer for you. According to our analyst, this investment product is going to triple in just two days’ time” Buy it or you will live to regret not making a pile from this golden opportunity”


‘Boiler-rooms’ are high-pressure phone sales operations that often promote fraudulent deals. Overseas ‘boiler-rooms’ may even make use of various telecommunication facilities to maintain “virtual offices” in Singapore to create a false impression that they are based in Singapore.

They may also open bank accounts in Singapore to receive remittances. The money deposited by victims into these bank accounts is usually transferred to a foreign bank account quickly.


Tell-tale signs of “Boiler Rooms Scam”


1) High Pressure Sales

‘Boiler-room’ operators make cold calls to potential investors and persuade them over long and pressurizing conversations to buy recommended products. Often, they promise high returns, deflect questions that seek more details and use psychological ploys to trick people into buying products they know nothing about or do not really want.

2) The 3 calls technique

Some cold callers wait before turning up the heat. They first build up your trust in them by introducing their services and track record. Later, they tell you about a fabulous deal that cannot be missed and they urge you to “buy now” or live to regret it




1) HANG UP. Remember: you are in control. You do not have to entertain the caller if you do not want to.

2) AVOID making a hasty or immediate decision.

3) VERIFY the sales information independently through credible sources and seek professional advice if necessary.

4) DO NOT give out information on your credit cards, bank accounts or any personal particulars over the phone to strangers.

(*Materials adapted from Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore)


Our Best, Always

Empower Advisory Team

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