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Man given six years' Corrective Training over $1m "offline transaction" cheating scam

Published on Jul 15, 2014 12:43 PM

SINGAPORE - A serial cheat who conned retailers of more than $1 million in jewellery and technology goods using an "offline transaction" scam was on Tuesday sentenced to six years of corrective training - a tough prison regime for repeat offenders without remission for good behaviour.

Teo Ziqi, 31, then either pawned or resold the items, including gold bars and iPads, and used some of the proceeds to gamble. Only $140,200 was recovered, a court heard.

Handing retailers his debit card to pay for purchases, Teo would request that the transactions be cleared offline, a process that requires the merchant to seek authorisation from both its own and the customer's bank.

Taking advantage of his victims' unfamiliarity with the correct procedure, he would provide them with an "approval code" purportedly given to him by his bank, sometimes pretending to call the bank for the six-digit combinations in front of staff members.

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