Scammers impersonate a police officer or father to extort money

Police are advising the public to be wary of an extortion scam in which people impersonating a police officer and a father over the phone get male victims to transfer money to a bank account.

Typically, the victim first responds to an online advertisement featuring a scantily clad female offering massages or escort services. Several text messages are exchanged between the victim and a person he believes is the female featured in the advertisement.

Sometime later, a person claiming to be the "father" of the girl calls the victim and threatens to lodge a police report as his "daughter" is underage. Another person claiming to be a police investigator then calls the victim and tells him that a police report has been lodged and action will be taken against him if the matter is not settled amicably.

Finally, the "father" calls the victim and offers to cancel the police report if he receives monetary compensation or payment from the victim. Out of fear, the victim transfers the money to a given bank account. The police said in a release on Thursday that several persons believed to be involved in the scam have been arrested and are assisting in police investigations.

Police advised the public to be wary of messages or calls from unknown people and to call the police immediately if someone tries to extort money from them. They added that members of the public should not remit or transfer money to strangers.