Online scam alert after woman almost became a victim

Police have issued a public alert after a woman almost fell prey to an online scam over the weekend.

The woman met the suspect through a social networking website in September and they communicated through that site as well as on instant messaging platforms. They even exchanged compromising photographs of each other, said the police in a press statement on Monday night.

Earlier this month, the suspect, a Caucasian male, told the woman that he would be coming to Singapore and wanted to meet her. But he requested money from her before the trip, saying it was for "clearance and administrative fees". The money was to be transferred to his overseas bank account.

The woman, sensing that something was amiss, made a police report instead. Members of public are advised to be aware of such scams, said the police. For instance, be wary of messages from strangers who want to be friends and do not transfer money overseas to anyone claiming to be in trouble over the Internet. Anyone who encounters a similar incident should call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or '999' if urgent assistance is required.