Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A  Singaporean woman wrote to a local newspaper warning of a possibly malicious remittance outlet at Lucky Plaza, a shopping center in the city’s Orchard area, claiming her 30-year-old Indonesian maid had been talked into taking out a S$1,000 (US$735) loan, plus service charges, while trying to send money home.

The employer, a 36-year-old accountant, asked the maid, 30, who has been working satisfactorily for the family for five years, to explain a contract stating that she had taken out a loan of S$1,000 at a remittance outlet, to be settled by installments in three months, Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.

The woman then learned that her maid on March 25 had visited the shop, which had been recommended by her friends, to transfer S$1,000 to Indonesia.

The staff there convinced the maid that the company could send the required sum on behalf of her and she could repay by installment instead of paying the amount in full at the scene.

The maid did not read the terms of the contract before signing it. She and her employer went through it together, and her boss explained to her that she was now repaying S$1,080 for a transfer of only S$900, meaning she was paying S$80 as “interest” and another S$100 in “service charges.”

The woman, who regards her maid as an innocent soul who trusts others too easily, said the remittance outlet might have misled her worker, who only speaks simple English. That’s why she made a public appeal and spoke of the alleged incident openly.

The company declined to comment when the newspaper contacted it for a response.