Victim in sex scam probed over false kidnap report

During investigations, police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department found several inconsistencies in the man's report.
During investigations, police officers from the Commercial Affairs Department found several inconsistencies in the man's report.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

After falling victim to a credit-for-sex scam, a man tried to cover up his loss by allegedly making a false police report.

The police said on Tuesday that they were investigating the 20-year-old who 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 check if they were safe as he was extremely worried.

Instead, he 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.

 
 

He had received an unsolicited offer of 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 and lodged a report, said the police.

The police added that those who lodge false reports or provide false information will face serious consequences under the law.

Anyone convicted of providing information which he knows to be false to a public servant may 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, there were 414 reported cases involving $1 million in losses.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2019, with the headline 'Victim in sex scam probed over false kidnap report'. Print Edition | Subscribe