Scam Alert — New Scam Method Using HR

The Newest Method of Scam by Scammer using Human Resource Approach.

In the last few weeks, I experienced the latest trick by scammer posting as recruitment agent representing some companies.

It seems that this is one of the latest method by scammers to get to fish money from innocent job seekers.

What are the Modus Operandi of the Scammers.

1. Scammer will post for a job opportunity in some job boards.

2. If an applicant saw the job posting and applied.

3. Someone impersonating the Company HR will then email to the applicant .

4. In the email, the bogus HR will ask the identified candidate whether he or she was interested in the job applied, claiming that they found the applicant experience and qualification is a good match,  and just the right candidate they are looking for.

5. The person would in the email ask the candidate to click yes and at the same time asked the identified candidate to provide the contact number.

6. Reason for asking for the contact number was they would conduct an interview via phone or Whatsapp and urged the identified candidate to attend as the session would be very interesting.

7. Example of the email content is as follows:

Dear candidate

I recently saw your resume online and want to know more about your background. We are actively looking for professionals with your qualifications for current and future positions.

To discuss this opportunity further, please contact me as soon as possible. We will contact you for an interview through a very interesting process.

Therefore, during your entire process, we will contact you by phone or what APP.

Please provide your what up number so that we can contact you directly.

8. . A self-proclaimed HR Director would contact the candidates on whatsapp. She explained that due to the pandemic, interviews are now done on whatsapp chat, and not face to face.

9. The interview would proceed with the usual questions like asking what were the reasons’ candidate seeking the employment in the post advertised.

10. Exchanges of messages would go on for hours and the “HR Director” did not reply to the message immediately.

11. Soon the conversation would move to more personal level and HR Director would ask about the candidate hobby and sharing her own hobby.

12. Do you invest in any investment instrument? this was the next question popped by the HR Director.

13. HR Director then talked about how she was in cryptocurrency trading and how much she could make.

14. She further claimed that she just followed her uncle who was expert in crypto trading and in any one night, could easily make USD 10,000.

15. Then she would share her photo and ask to comment on her beauty.

16. She further offered to guide the candidate in cryptocurrency trading even though I had indicated that I would not be involved in cryptocurrency at all.

17. She then sent a link about the trading platform and asking me to register.

18. The whole episode became more urgent as she kept messaging ans asking whether I had registered.

19. When I told her I could not enter the link sent, so she sent a web based link.

20. When I told her I would study the platform first before I register.

21. That was when the true color of the HR Director showed.

22. She would say – wish you find a new job, and got very angry for not registering and funding the platform immediately.

When I decided to stop messaging and made a due diligence check on the platform, and noticed the platform for a cryptocurrency trading was badly organized.

You could see my comments about that platform HERE.

What do we need to do to prevent falling into the trap?

For those job seekers who are actively looking for job opportunity, especially during this trying pandemic created havoc time, we have to be more alert to identify this type of trap and scam.

Normally the recruitment firm or job advertiser will not write such a lengthy email as indicated in No. 7 above. This tells you something is not right.

We may be able to carry out the following due diligence and find out the reality of the job offer.

Steps to be taken

1. Check out the company website.

2. Call the company and find out whether there is really such a HR Director working in that company.

3. Do a thorough review of the links’ given.

4. Do not fund your capital in the platform even you are being pestered by the HR Director,

5. Read all the reviews about the platform and check with the anti scam website about the platform.

6. Ask for video call if possible instead of just Whatsapp messaging.

7. If the Whatsapp dragged on for more than one day, stop the conversation.


Why Do People Fall For It

COVID -19 has made a lot of people very desperate and short of income.

Some may fall into cash flow problem and urgently need cash, and scammer pry on this to lure these people.

Realizing human being like to take advantage of money making opportunity especially those quick money, because of this, scammers will make use of this to attract these group of people and scam the money.

The Correct Way

We need to know there is no such thing easy trading especially on cryptocurrency.

1. If you really want to do trading, do it with the one you know.

2. Unless you really know how cryptocurrency trading work, do not get into it.

3. Trade with a platform which you know instead of those online platform where you do not even know who run the platform.

4. Talk to your investor advisers or bankers who handle your financial matters in the bank you deal with.

5. Moreover you can also ask your banker to recommend one good colleague of his who handle investment in the bank and talk to him in person.

You Know You Only Live Once

You Know You Only Live Once, hence try to live a useful and colorful live instead of the one you regret later.

I hope this article will help those who are looking for jobs and may come across similar encounter and learn from it.

If you have similar encounter and wish to share it, please do put your comments and feedback in the comment section below.

latest update on the job scams.

The Straits Times of Singapore covered this in more details on the increasing job scams, you can read the whole story HERE

Simple And Easy Ways To Start Small Business

handy usage of mobile appWhen one starts a new business, the most commonly asked question is how to start and how to go about doing it.

In this technology age, a lot of start up are business related to Artificial Intelligence,

the peopled who start this are mostly peopled who have knowledge of computer programming and tech geeks,

most of the times, these people may be able to create a good application, but whether they are able to run and manage the new start up is up to the promoter of the business.

I have come across a few of these peopled who can invent some good applications, program but running the company? that is totally a different story.

Most of the technology start up failed because the owners do not have the necessary knowledge to run the business.

Why do the new tech start up fail?

1. The owner is too engrossed in the program.

2. No proper business plan is prepared.

3. Business owner fail to identify the market for his creation.

1. The owner is too engrossed in the program.

A lot of owners of the technology companies like to spend their time in the programming of their product and they are very passionate about this.

Most of the time they will spend their time fine-tuning their product and trying to make it as perfect as possible,

Because of this, they neglect their main task, the task of getting their business operating.

2. No proper business plan is prepared.

Most of the new start up do not know a proper business plan is important.

A good business plan acts as a guide for any business and can provide the following:

a. It gives the business a direction.

b. With the plan, the business can focus on achieving the target set.

c. it outlines clearly the targets to be achieved.

d. Enable the business to prepare and be more organized.

3. Business owner fail to identify the market for his creation

Business owner sometimes fail to identify the market, they just create the app and then try to market it.

there are tech businessmen who created the app and then only want to find out how to market the app instead of creating something required by any industries.

What Should Technology Companies Do In Creating An APP?

Before any app is programmed, it is advisable that the technology firm take the following steps:

1. Find out what application is badly required by any business

2. Create the app specially tailor to the demand of certain industries.

3. Make sure the app is user-friendly.

4. How the APP can help the business?

5. Whether the APP help to improve efficiency and productivity.

Before a business man wants to market a new APP, he must know how his APP can help the business he is targeting to sell the APP .

How useful and how the APP is able to help any business is another thing always overlooked by the APP developers, they may just create an APP which is so generic and thinking one size fits all will do.

This is just some pointers for new start up to consider.

If you have any comments and feedback, please feel free to leave your comments below.

Why Is It Important To Recruit Right Staff

hiring the right staff

One of the challenges of any business is staff retention.

Staff turnover is very common in any business and the bosses always face the issue of staffs resigning and having problem to recruit staffs to work especially the right staff.

Why do staff resign?

a lot of companies are not able to keep their staffs for long, the staff turnover is so high, it makes them need to recruit new staffs every month.

Most companies always take the easy way out by blaming the staffs for not able to work long hour and so on instead of reviewing whether all these are because of their own doing which cause the resignation.

What are the effect of high staff turnover

with high staff turnover, the continuity of the work is in doubt.

For staffs who resign, the position will be vacant before the new staff comes on board

worse if the staff resigns and new staff has not joined yet, no one does the hand over to the incoming staff. Incoming staff will not know the background of the transaction.

How to do staff recruitment?

with vacancy in company, the Human Resource Department will need to do some recruitment to replace the resigned staff and get someone to do the work.

The HR department either do the recruitment themselves or engage the recruitment agency and or head-hunting firm to do the hiring.

There are some advantages and disadvantages of doing the recruitment on your own instead of using the headhunting firm or recruitment agency


1. HR staffs get to review the applicants’ information closely.

2. Save cost in engaging a recruitment firm.

3. Able to understand the candidates better.



1. time-consuming in sorting out voluminous applications.

2. May not have the time and resource to do the screening of candidate.

Some firms when they think it is too time-consuming to screen applications and do the background check, they will decide to engage a recruitment firm to do the work.

However by doing so, there are some advantages and disadvantages of doing so too.


1. Free up the times of sorting out the applications and use the time to do the normal HR work.

2. Recruitment firms have better resources to do the background check of the candidates.

3. Recruitment will do the first round interview and shortlist the “right” candidate for the company.


1. Not able to know the candidate is the one whom thee recruitment firm has been marketing for various companies.

2. some more suitable candidate may be dismissed by the recruitment firm.

3. Recruitment firms use some filtering software to filter the applications which they have set some wrong benchmark and by doing so, eliminate some good candidate.

Why do some firms use agencies to hire staffs always do not work out well?

Some firms after engaging recruitment firm to do the hiring, if they really do an analysis, will find the candidate/staff recruited via agency, normally do not seem to stay long in the company.

there are various reasons why this is so.

1. As I mentioned earlier, recruitment agency use a software to filter the applications.

2. If they set the parameter of filter wrongly, then good candidate may be eliminated in first filtering.

3. For example, when hiring a CFO, some firm may require candidate to have either a degree or professional qualification, .

4. If the recruitment agency does not how one can be a professional accountant without a degree, he or she will set the parameter and those with professional qualification but not degree will not be selected.

5. If that happens, the good candidate with professional qualification but no degree will miss out.

6. When this happens, the hiring company will miss having a good staff.

because of wrong parameter set in the filtering software, the hiring miss out recruiting the right staff.

We know how important it is to recruit the right staff for the job.

this in a way will ensure the staff will stay longer in the job and not job hopping,

right staff recruitment
Having the right staff will also ensure the company has less staff turnover, we know high staff turnover is bad for the company, not only it affects the morale of the other staffs, it also gives a bad reputation to the company.

In Astute Business Advisory, we help our clients to recruit the right staffs for the job.

we emphasis the importance of knowing the culture and the work ethnic of the company and we see whether the candidate can fit in smoothly and seamlessly.

the most important thing is we in Astute Business Advisory will not use the software to filter applications for jobs we posted.

We also set priority in getting the groups of candidates who are unemployed and looking for jobs, for those who are currently having jobs, we will not consider their applications.

For those companies who want to hire the right staff, do get in contact us and discuss your requirement and we will advise you what type of right staff you should hire for your company.

How To Restructure A Small Medium Enterprise (SME)

Do you want to restructure your small medium enterprise and make it more profitable?

There are a lot of Small Medium Enterprise (SME) in Singapore, and most of them depend on the government to guide them, by providing subsidy and incentive through Enterprise Singapore, or previously commonly known as Spring Singapore, instead of going ahead to restructure the business to face the new challenges.

Instead of embarking on businesses where government is providing subsidy, a business entity should embark on a business after careful analysis and evaluation and determine the feasibility and profitability of the business, if not, we will lose focus on what we set out to do in the first place.

It seems that a lot of SME only take on business where government is providing subsidy and incentive, it gives the impression they are looking at collecting the goodies or really want to do the business?

Before a SME is restructured, the owner of the business must know what he wants for his business for the next few years or decades.

Why do we hardly see SME expand beyond Singapore and become Multi National Corporation or MNC?

There are quite a few reasons for that.

  1. As mentioned above, a lot of them are in business or start the business because government is providing subsidy and incentive.
  2. Lack of succession plan from the pioneer of the business, most of the time, the owner or operator of the SME find it difficult to continue the business as his children are not willing to take over the business and he does not have a professional manager to run the show for him.
  3. Element of change and evolve with time is lacking, with the change of business environment especially with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all sorts of businesses and life, there is a need to have new normal in the way business can operate and survive.
  4. Most SME in Singapore were started in the last century and even though some may have been taken over by the children or the 2nd and 3rd generation, however will it be operated by the 4th generation or 5th? considering now the children seldom follow the parent to the office , even they do go to the office, they will still be busy with their mobile phone instead of observing what the parents are doing.


So how to make a SME change to MNC and expand beyond Singapore and move out from their comfort zone and find more challenging business in the region and beyond?

Can We Help?

If you are one of the SME who is thinking of expanding and taking the next step to become a better business entity and one which employees like and enjoy working in, do contact us and we can work out the plan for you.

What Else Do We Offer?

At the same time you may want to subscribe to our short business solutions in our Lazy People Guide and learn a thing or two, if you are interested, you can click HERE to learn more.

Staff Recruitment

Do You Need Staff Recruitment?

How do you go about doing staff recruitment?

What do you do when you need to have a good staff?

These are the questions being asked, especially in a labor market which is short of talented staffs.

If you company need a top talent to compete in this challenging business environment, we can help you in identifying the right candidate. We deliver exceptional candidate who bring good value to your business.

From C- suite, middle management to clerical level and even temporary needs, we at Astutebizadvisory can assist your internal HR to understand your company goals, strategy plan and provide the necessary knowledge and processes to guide the potential candidate to be the asset of your company.

What Can We Do To Help In Staff Recruitment?

We provide the following services in term of human resources management.

  1. Identify the need of your company in term of skills and level of experience.
  2. Advise your internal HR on what types of candidate you should hire.
  3. Formulae the job requirements and scope to match the company’s aspiration.
  4. Identify the right candidate for the position.
  5. Conduct background check on the candidate before recommendation.

Challenges of Staff Recruitment

  1. Competitive labor market.
  2. Getting the right staff.
  3. The suitable candidate,
  4. Candidate who can contribute to your company’s growth, and
  5. Meeting the company’s business strategies,
  6. Without increasing the cost of human resource,
  7. Offer the right remuneration package.

Orientation of New Employee

We at Astutebizadvisory are able to help our clients in this area.

Once we have successfully recruited the staffs for our clients, we have a special orientation program for the newly recruited staff before he reports for duty.

Our orientation program ensures the staff will acclimate to our client’s culture, and ease into his role as soon as possible.

How To Ensure Your Employee Stays On The Job?

It is important that employees stay on the company payroll longer.

High staff turnover is very disruptive for a business, the continuity of work flow is badly affected.

My experience told me about high staff turnover:

It caused:

  • Breakdown of internal control and
  • Loss of crucial information.

However this can be easily avoided if staff retention rate is high

Do you want to get the right candidate? contact us now.

Fund and Equity Capital Raising

Do your companies need fund and equity capital raising?

Fund and equity capital raising is challenging in this COVID-19 pandemic affected business environment.

Restructuring of business at the time of fund and equity capital raising.

Company may need to take the opportunity to do a restructuring of the business setup, whether re-look into the mode of operation, organizational setup or lines of businesses.

Normally, after a new round of calling for fund either from the market, from the public or debt raising from the bank, it will be good that the management of the company can have a review of the whole company set up , carry out a restructuring if need to.

Raising an equity fund is a natural progression for a company. Fund provides a more stable and secure capital base, and easier for the owner of the company to plan, and make quick decision in any investment opportunity.

What Types Of Fund Raising Are Suitable For Your Business?

A company can raise fund from debt financing, or from equity capital, it all depends on the requirement of a company,

We in Astutebizadvisory are able to advise our clients on their needs.

Whether you require a debt capital raised by obtaining a bank loan, or through equity capital by selling shares of stock, we have the expertise and knowhow to advise our clients, on the mix of  both these types of funding, the main objective is to ensure cost effectiveness for the business.

With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, and most of the businesses affected, cash flow become a very important issue.

If a company is able to raise some capital to meet everyday need with reduced revenue, it will be good for the business to survive, and plan for post COVID-19 with a new normal way of doing business.

IF you think you need to raise fund for your business, please get in touch with us, we are more than willing to listen to your requirement, and assist you to meet your cash flow need.

For the time being, you may want to look at our short business solution HERE ,and learn more about what you need to do for your cash flow need, while waiting for us to structure something for you.

Contact Us now for more information.

Business Restructuring

In the current situation, most companies may want to have a business restructuring to ensure their survival and more prepared when the economy business environment return to normal

Companies may want to look at

  1. 1. Business Improvement.
  2. 2. Financial Restructuring.
  3. 3. Business Reorganization
  4. 4. Information Technology
  5. 5. Merger & Acquisition
  6. 6. Valuation of company value.
  1. Business Improvement

Astutebizadvisory place a lot of emphasis on business strategy planning, improving and executing business strategies and processes. The main objective is to ensure the Corporate Objectives are in line with the Stakeholders’ need.

For Business Improvement, Astutebizadvisory
offer two methods of achieving the desired objectives.

a. Business Process Improvement.

Improvement Potential Excellence Diagram Graphic Concept

I. Process improvement

We will advise clients on how to improve the business process to make it more efficient and lean. We are confident after our process review and implementation of our recommendation, the business process will be more efficient and lean, not to mention the savings made and the capacity increased as a result of the process improvement. The business may also be able to keep their staffs and enable the staffs to learn more and in-depth of the business process.

II. Business Intelligence Information.

We will analyze your business data and reorganize the data to create a monitoring process whereby the data are put to better use in business process and decision-making. In this era of big data information where data is asset, if the available data is put to good use in combination with business process improvement, it will produce a sustainable result.

2. Financial Restructuring.

In this challenging business environment, it is important to do some financial restructuring of the business.

We assist clients who are in financial difficulty to restructure their financial by negotiating with the creditors, conduct going concern review and recommend sustainable financial prudence steps to ensure the business can sustain the difficult and challenging business climate.

3. Business Reorganization.

In the time of need, we can assist our client to do business reorganization and help our clients to be more competitive and stabilize the operation and identify better business opportunity.

4. Information Technology

We help our client to leverage on Information Technology (IT), to improve business performance and reduce business risk.

We have IT professional who constantly work with us to help our clients in new IT system implementation and/or system integration and we help our client to identify their IT risk and also on data protection in accordance with Personal Data Protection Act.

5. Merger & Acquisition.

We will help to identify the target for merger and acquisition and will follow through the entire process of the transaction.

We provide the following services:

  • Acquisition and divestiture plans and strategies.
  • Due diligence
  • Integration and assimilation process.

We will ensure our client get their value of investment for the merger and acquisition and we will try to maximize the value for our client.

6. Valuation of Company Value.

We do valuation of business, business interests and intangible asset valuation for our client.

We can provide intangible asset valuation for our client in a business combination in accordance with IFRS No. 3 on Business Combination.

Determination of the fair value of Goodwill and perform test on potential impairment are also the services provided by us.