Source: Eugene Law Facebook account.

Resident pressured at her doorstep to buy six durians for $385

A Facebook post about a durian scam posted by Eugene Lau has gone viral on the internet.

In his post, Mr Lau wrote that durian sellers went to his place and offered his wife some durians, which costs $15 per durian, claiming that it was of Mao Shan Wang (MSW) quality.

In an interview with TOC, Mr Lau said that the incident happened at around 7pm on 4 May at his place in Boon Keng.

He said that the two durian sellers, both male, told his domestic worker and Mrs Lau that they’re visiting his estate again to revisit existing customers. Mr Lau said that the men told his wife that they were from Malaysia.

When Mrs Lau asked where exactly do their existing customers live, since the Lau’s are not one of them, the sellers vaguely pointed to other other floors and units within the block. Mr Lau and his family had just moved into their new BTO home, with only 30% of the units filled.

Mrs Lau agreed to buy some of the durians from the sellers under the assumption that it costs $15 per durian.

Source: Eugene Lau Facebook account

“But, before she knew it, they told her that they had opened up 6 durians (surely these durians in the Tupperware look like they came from 6 bloody durians),” Mr Lau wrote.

Mrs Lau had no idea that while she went to take money from the room, the durian sellers would open up six durians, charging her $15 per kg instead and insisted that she had misheard them.

They took out a weighing scale, weighing the durians together with its shell, and told Mrs Lau it now costs $385 in total. $385 worth of durians would be equivalent to about 23kg of durians.

“Where is the rest of my durians?!” Mr Lau stated.

Mrs Lau, knowing that something was amiss, and worried for her family’s safety as the gate was already opened, called her husband. Mr Lau immediately called the police and informed his wife to delay payment and not give them cash in the meantime. According to Mr Lau, his wife told him that the durian sellers reduced the price of the durians to $100, from $385.

Mr Lau told TOC that his wife was both scared and intimidated by both men, did not initiate to close the gate, in case it would trigger the men to be defensive. 

The durian sellers, “sensing that something was wrong”, told Mrs Lau that they would come back in about half an hour after her husband gets back home for their payment.

“Mind you, all this while they were standing outside my door refusing to leave as they had already opened up the durians, with a knife in their hand,” Mr Lau wrote in his post.  

“I was already in rage mode and was picturing myself smashing the durian shells into their face, but too bad those bastards never came back for their money or durians,” he added.

By the time Mr Lau reached home, the police had also arrived. They combed the entire block, but did not find the men. A police report has been made.

“Dear family and friends, please take note of this and warn your close ones to stay vigilant and not fall prey to these durian scammers,” Mr Lau said before ending his post.

To TOC, Mr Lau said that he had no idea his post would go viral. However, he noted that from the comments on his post, he realised that a lot of other people have also fallen for such scams. He hopes that people would be more vigilant, and not pay these scammers out of convenience just to squash the matter.

A netizen noted on Mr Lau’s original post that the scammers are now seen around the Woodlands area.

Previous durian scams

This was not the first time such scams have happened. In 2014, TOC reported about another such story from a resident who wrote in.

A seller would offer residents durians and told them that three durians would cost $150. When the residents declined, he would ask them to taste first and that they would not have to pay for the durian tasted.

The resident who lives in Bukit Panjang narrated that the seller insisted that he buys the durian that has been opened for $50.

“The seller was really insistent and refused to leave until I made call to police,” the resident wrote.