Man probed for making false report to cover up falling for sex scam
A man who fell for a credit-for-sex scam allegedly concocted a plan to cover up his loss.
Worried about his parents finding out he had lost the money in a sex scam, the 20-year-old made a police report last Friday that he had fallen victim to a kidnap scam.
The police said in a statement on Tuesday that they were investigating the man for making a false report.
He claimed in the report that an unknown person had called him to say his parents had been kidnapped and demanded a $1,500 ransom for their safe return.
He said he was so upset by the news that he did not call his parents to check whether they were safe, the police said.
Instead, he complied with the kidnapper's demands and bought $1,500 in credits from Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform.
He then sent the serial codes of the credits to an e-mail address given by the kidnapper.
During investigations, Commercial Affairs Department officers discovered several inconsistencies in the man's report.
They found out that the man had received an unsolicited offer for sex from an attractive woman on an online dating application.
To book her services, he had to make a deposit via Alipay credits, which he did at an AXS machine in Bishan last Friday.
But he ended waiting in vain for the woman to show up.
After realising he had been conned, he allegedly tried to cover up his mistake by making a false police report.
The police reminded members of the public that anyone who makes a false report or provides false information will face serious consequences.
Anyone convicted of providing information they know to be false to a public servant can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $5,000, or both.
Last year, the police received 533 reports of credit-for-sex scams involving losses of $1.5 million.
In 2017, 414 such cases involving $1 million in losses were reported.
The police advised the public to be wary when receiving friend requests from strangers on online dating or social media applications, especially when they offer escort, massage or sexual services, to avoid falling for such scams.
They also warned the public not to give out personal details to strangers on the Internet, and not to provide personal identification numbers or serial codes of online shopping credits to strangers who they may have just met online.