Don't let fear of scams stop us from helping others

With news of scams so common these days, it is difficult to believe a stranger based on his words alone, much less render him help, especially when it involves money.

Hence, it was certainly refreshing to read of how Mr John Shu helped Ms Jaycie Tay, a complete stranger in need, with no regard for his own personal gain or loss ("Help from a stranger turns her life around"; Dec 4).

What he did is highly commendable.

Scammers take advantage of people's natural propensity for empathy and kindness, and prey on individuals who let their guard down.

However, we should not stop helping another person in need, just because we fear being cheated.

Rather, we should listen to all aspects of the story before deciding whether to help and not take information at face value ("Donations for sick girl to be returned"; Dec 3).

There are always weak points in a scammer's story, if we look carefully for them, no matter how realistic or pitiful they may sound.

As an inclusive society, we should help the less fortunate, as there are always a few who will fall through the cracks.

With rapid globalisation and increasing disruptions, they need help more than ever.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Don't let fear of scams stop us from helping others'. Print Edition | Subscribe