SINGAPORE - A man allegedly made a false police report to cover up his financial loss after falling victim to a credit-for-sex scam, said the police in a statement on Tuesday (June 4).
The police said they were investigating the 20-year-old who had lodged a police report last Friday stating that he had received a phone call from an unknown person who had kidnapped his parents.
The man claimed that he did not call his parents to determine their safety as he was extremely worried, said the police.
The man then said he acceded to the demands of the kidnapper and bought about $1,500 in Alipay credits. Alipay is 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, police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department found several inconsistencies in the man's report.
The police found that the man was a victim of a credit-for-sex scam.
The man had received an unsolicited offer for sex from an attractive-looking woman on an online dating application, and was told to make a deposit via Alipay credits to book her services.
He then purchased the Alipay credits at an AXS machine in Bishan last Friday, but did not get to meet the woman.
As he was worried that his parents would find out he had lost the money in a credit-for-sex scam, he decided to concoct a cover story about the fake kidnap and lodged a police report, said the police.
The police added that they would like to remind members of the public that those who lodge false reports or provide false information will face serious consequences under the law.
Anyone convicted of providing information which he or she knows to be false, to a public servant, may be jailed up to a year or fined up to $5,000, or both.
In 2018, the police received 533 reports of credit-for-sex scams involving losses of $1.5 million. In 2017, there were 414 cases reported involving $1 million in losses.
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 added that people should not give out personal details to strangers on the Internet, and not provide PIN numbers or serial codes of online shopping credits to strangers whom they may have just met on the Web.