Interior design salesperson scammed $100,000 over 10 cases, and disappeared

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Undone shower pipe v Vincz (PHOTO: Mr Lim)

By Laura Zhang

It started in July, when Mr Adam Lim, 49, engaged HKlassic Interior Design to renovate his new sweet home at Choa Chu Kang Crescent. After making a payment of $12,820, Mr Lim was notified by the carpenter and plumber that they would not proceed with the tasks as they had not received any form of payment.

Mr Vincz Chua, whose actual name is Cai Ming Sheng according to Mr Lim, was the representative of HKlassic that signed the contract with Mr Lim in July. Under a good deal, Vincz quoted Mr Lim a low price for a dozen of renovation works, with the entire project amounting to S$12,820 with handwritten tabulations. Mr Lim was required to pay a deposit of $1,000 and 40% of the cost of entire project.

(Screenshot by Adam Lim)

On 8 September, Vincz requested Mr Lim to pay up the other 60%, and claimed that works were about done. All payments were transferred to a DBS account 019xxxx960.

“As I was desperate to move in soon, and I trusted him because he updated me on his progress constantly, I transferred the remainder,” said Mr Lim to The Independent, regretting his decision after realising the “updates” had been entirely false claims.

Vincz Managed to convince Mr Lim to transfer the remainder

Mr Lim was shocked when he saw the undone cabinet and wardrobe, and unfurnished floor and wall.

Incomplete wardrobe (Photo: Adam Lim)
shower pipes unconnected (Photo: Adam Lim)

On 24 September, Vincz contacted Mr Lim with another number, informing him that he had changed number and had quitted his job because HKlassic was indebted to him. Vincz also gave his words that renovation tasks would resume on 10 October as he was expecting a “handover”. It was unsure what he meant. Further, Vincz told Mr Lim to claim $1,000 deposit from HKlassic.

Soon, HKlassic called Mr Lim and informed him that they were not liable for any financial transactions involved in the project and refunded Mr Lim $500, which was soon collected by Vincz from Mr Lim as he convinced Mr Lim it was necessary for the completion.

Ever since Vincz left HKlassic, there had been little progress, with the labourers rushing Mr Lim for remuneration, telling him “Vincz had not paid us.” The labourers said the amount Vincz owed them were totalled $6,000, including purchases of materials presumably made out of workers’ pockets, such as pipes and cabinets.

Each time when Mr Lim prompted Vincz, he would be met with “Sorry, I’m trying.” Vincz had also claimed his son was hospitalised and it was causing the glitch.

As shift-out date approached, Mr Lim, along with his wife and two children had to move to their new flat on 21 Oct. He paid $200 to a labourer to purchase pipes.

“I DIY many renovation works,” Mr Lim said, ” Vincz had not appeared since we moved in. And he doesn’t respond to phone calls. The labourers are also looking for him. They wouldn’t proceed without being paid.”

“There’s only cold shower. Luckily, I managed to rush them to finish painting my wall and to get the floor paved,” he said.

Mr Lim had made a police report on 6 November at Choa Chu Kang Neighbourhood Police Centre.

The Independent had since then reached to Vincz via both his old and new contacts, but he did not pick up the calls.

Upon contacting HKlassic, Ms Li, who declined to reveal her full name said, “we wish police can catch him. We’ve lodged a police report. He had got our company into trouble with 10 scamming cases under another brand’s name – HKconcept. He cheated clients’ money of over $100,000 which were transferred to his personal account.”

“We fired him in September as we noticed he had been scamming customers.”

Plot twist occurred when a plumber under Mr Lim’s renovation project, who declined to be named, phoned The Independent and said, “my friend saw Vincz continue working at HKlassic recently. Vincz would be in the office at 6 to 9 p.m. daily.”

“Actually HKlassic has been fooling their own employees, by owing or delaying them salary. One of their staffers called Wilson also allegedly used exactly same tricks. Few days back, an HDB owner lodged a police report against Wilson.

“HKlassic is a lie,” he said, “I’ve made a police report because I want my pay.”

He then sent the proofs of police report against Wilson from HKlassic:

On 6 November, Mr Liew Yao Hui, an investigation officer had informed Mr Lim that the case had been under investigation, and had told Mr Lim that they had received a similar case in September against the same party.

Vincz’s namecard

“I hope this story can serve as a public reminder not to be fooled into their drama, at the same time I wish relevant authority can identify the scammers,” said Mr Lim.

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26 comments

    1. I totally agree with you and people and companies like these should be dealt with harshly by the proper authorities… it just gives us designers and design companies a bad rep and makes the industry a very difficult place to survive in…

  1. This is a scam company. Hongkee using China people as baits. Using police reports to fool the customer the company is legit which only the China people are left in the dark. They just need to run away with the money and start a new company with a different name.

  2. LOL. Owner deserves it… Never occasionally go and check on the renovation progress. Take that as a lesson ay. Last time my house on renovation, i everyday go back to see see look look… Ended up its me updating my contractor and not my contractor updating me.

  3. Muthu Samy says:

    SG is becoming more of a Scam city since 2005… Most just wanna cash out in whatever ways possible and fled off. EG maxing credit cards and flee.. That’s why min sum to open acct is now 3k

  4. Garie Sim says:

    I’m laughing at the situation, despite the government having regulatory organisations, still allows this kind of scamming, these organisations are only form to collect member fees and do nothing to regulate the designer/contractor, also The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), they are useless and let the consumers get scamed by contractors cannot get back their money.

    1. (Zaidy) there are too many grey areas on reno, there this malay couple scam so many that i have lost count….published in papers too, but til now the law still can’t do anything to them

  5. David Lim says:

    Hahaha this prc reno company called HKlassic. U knw what HK means ? It means Hong Kan lor. U trust this kind of name ? U want cheap deal ? U get cheated instead. Orbi good serve u rite Wuahahahaha !!!

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