SOURCE: The Straits Times Online
She would often befriend the unemployed, offering them jobs on the condition that they provide her with a mobile phone for "work-related purposes", she claimed.
Between January 2010 and January this year, Shereem Chua Yi Qing, 24, scammed 14 victims of about $32,000 in total, none of which has been paid back.
A district court heard she invented job offers, duping victims by claiming she was the owner of a fashion shop, company boss or the daughter of a shipping firm owner, among other ruses.
Yesterday, the unemployed woman was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to nine charges of cheating eight victims of $12,576.
In a recent deception, she convinced sales promoter Chew Siew Leng, 36, that she had helped her settle outstanding loans of $30,000 to various banks and had to pay $5,000 in interest.
They had become acquainted through the Internet last December.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Haniza Abnass said the victims, believing that Chua could give them a job, would sign up for the most expensive mobile phone plan as Chua claimed that either she or the company would pay the monthly charges.
She would ask the victims for their cellphones, usually pretending that she had to configure them for work purposes.
But when the victims tried to contact her about the promised employment, she would either be evasive or uncontactable.
The DPP said the victims had paid the costs of terminating the mobile phone contracts and other related charges.
One victim, Ms Chee Mei Yee, 37, was a sales assistant who was unhappy with her job.
In January 2010, Chua claimed she owned a fashion shop in Causeway Point shopping centre and offered her a position as assistant manager.
Ms Chee, who was cheated of seven phones in total, signed up for a mobile phone and passed the $700 iPhone to Chua.
In another case, Chua was introduced to Mr Lee Mun Chun, 27, by her former boyfriend in January 2010.
Two months later, Chua told the victim she would employ him at ML Shipping Company as a personal assistant on $2,600 a month.
She claimed to be the daughter of the company's boss.
The victim was told to subscribe for the most expensive phone plan, and he later handed over the iPhone to Chua.
But Mr Lee became suspicious when he could not find any information about the company on the Internet, and then tried to contact Chua without success.
The court heard that Chua sold the phones and used the proceeds for her personal expenses.
Twenty-two other charges were taken into consideration.
She could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge of cheating.