SINGAPORE - A man who had links to a company that sells digital locks, house doors and gates allegedly took some $42,000 from its customers on the pretext of collecting deposits or balance of payment.
About $52,000 worth of items have also gone missing from the company, said the founder of My Digital Lock, Mr Ronn Teo.
He told The Straits Times (ST) on Tuesday (March 29) that this came to light after several customers called the company and went to its outlets to ask about their orders earlier this month.
"We checked, but we couldn't find their orders in the system. The customers were very angry," said Mr Teo, 32, adding that the man has been uncontactable since.
On Tuesday, Mr Teo made a police report. The police have confirmed that a report was made and said investigations are ongoing.
Mr Teo said his staff spent two weeks calling customers and found that 30 to 40 of them had been affected.
He said the customers had paid the deposit or balance of payment directly to the man in cash, to his bank account or via PayNow using his mobile phone number.
The PayNow account name had been changed to "My Digital Lock Pte Ltd", giving customers the impression that they were transferring funds to the company.
The man allegedly collected $42,434 in total from these customers.
Mr Teo said the man had created invoices with fake customer contact numbers and addresses, and that checks found that the items stated in the invoices - valued at $32,207 - were no longer in the company stock.
He added that the company also did not receive payment of $13,923 for items that had been installed for some customers who could not be contacted.
He also said that the man had taken items worth $5,772 - such as a house door, gate, digital lock and mattress - without paying for them.
All these details were mentioned in Mr Teo's police report.
Urging his customers to make a police report if they have been affected, Mr Teo said the company will fulfil the orders if the customers can show proof of a police report.
"I don't want our customers to lose trust in us, especially since Hari Raya is approaching," he added.
"I was shocked when all this unfolded. It was just a few customers at first, but the more we dug, we realised he had done this to a lot of customers."
A customer who made a police report on Wednesday said her husband transferred $6,153 to the man’s bank account in January for their purchase of a mattress, bed frame and pillows from My President, the mattress arm of My Digital Lock.
The housewife, 50, who wanted to be known only as Madam Quek, told ST: “I did not find him suspicious. He was very confident and said he was in charge.
“When the company put up a post on Facebook about the case, I panicked. But they assured me they would honour my order though it would take a few weeks longer than expected.”
ST's attempts to contact the man for comment have been unsuccessful.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.