Singapore— News about unlicensed moneylenders placing bogus Foodpanda orders to harass debtors has spread in the past few months, with a police spokesperson confirming the link between bogus food orders and illegal moneylenders.
One such example of this harassment occurred at an HDB block at Bedok Reservoir View on Mar 6, when several Foodpanda delivery riders were seen attempting to make deliveries.
A netizen posted photos of at least four Foodpanda delivery personnel in their pink and grey uniforms waiting in the corridor of the supposed customer’s unit. Police officers could be seen talking to the riders.
The police confirmed that they had been alerted to a case of intentional harassment at an HDB block at Bedok Reservoir View on that date.
However, the Singaporean couple who live in that unit told mustsharenews that they found themselves becoming a target of harassment by loansharks not because they had taken out a loan, but because their domestic helper did.
She had been a victim of a scam, and, as a result, ended up in debt.
To harass the whole household, the illegal moneylenders made a number of Foodpanda orders and had them delivered at the HDB block at Bedok.
This incident made the rounds online and in the media, which resulted in her employers suffering even more harassment by the moneylenders.
The couple then told their story to mustsharenews, in an article published on Sunday (Mar 21).
They had hired the helper to help take care of their son, as both the husband and wife are working in healthcare. The wife, a doctor, had gone back to work from maternity leave only shortly before the pandemic.
According to mustsharenews, the helper is considered as one of the family and is treated well by the couple.
“We tried to be as good as an employer could possibly be to her, just as how we had hope to be similarly treated as employees ourselves,” they said.
Early this month, they discovered that the helper had borrowed money from several illegal moneylenders after she had been a victim of scammers, which meant she lost her a “substantial amount” of savings.
However, when she could not pay, the illegal moneylenders started calling the household.
After this, the couple filed a police report, which started what they have called a nightmare.
On Mar 6, texts and phone calls from a number of local and international numbers began to come in.
That day, a fake Foodpanda order, from a Malaysian number for cash-on-delivery, was sent to them.
They told the driver the order had been a bogus one.
However, he was only the first among many to come.
The couple told mustsharenews that none of the riders could tell Foodpanda to stop orders from coming in, since the service has “no clear-cut hotline.”
They then called the police.
But at the same time, the couple started getting messages telling them to “enjoy the food”.
Since photos of the multiple Foodpanda riders were posted online and news outlets carried the story, the harassment got even worse.
mustsharenews reported that the couple received texts from unfamiliar numbers with links to the news items.
One Facebook post had been particularly damaging, the couple said.
As a result, the couple has received threats to their safety.
And while the harassment has somewhat lessened and they have filed police reports, the couple is still receiving harassing phone calls.
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