Woman alleged to have cheated 73 friends of $800k

Over 10 police reports filed by victims, who say she gave various reasons for needing loans

A friend of Ms Alexandra Low with his devices that show his exchanges with her concerning the money he lent her.
A friend of Ms Alexandra Low with his devices that show his exchanges with her concerning the money he lent her.SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO

A woman who allegedly cheated about 70 friends and acquaintances of more than $800,000 is under police investigation.

Ms Alexandra Low, a former financial analyst, is believed to have borrowed money under various pretexts, such as having to make a down payment for a house, according to a copy of a police report obtained by The Sunday Times.

The police confirmed that investigations are ongoing.

The Sunday Times understands that more than 10 separate police reports have been filed by Ms Low's alleged victims.

The police report stated that 73 friends had lent Ms Low money after she approached them with various reasons.

Some were told that she needed the money to pay off debts incurred by her uncle due to a work accident, while others were told that her mother was in a hospital and she desperately needed to pay the bills.

But Ms Low, 25, told the police that she had borrowed around $800,000 to $900,000 from friends for breast enhancement treatments.

Friends who spoke to The Sunday Times said they found out about the alleged ruse after they started talking among themselves and realised that she had been borrowing money from many of them.

Some confronted her about the loans, while some friends accompanied her to a police station to "confess" last month.

The average loan amount was around $6,500, but one person lent her $121,500, according to the police report.

A former schoolmate and close friend told The Sunday Times that Ms Low had borrowed more than $20,000 from her in August.

Ms Low had claimed that she desperately needed the money for her house's down payment but could not come up with the cash as her father had lent money to another friend.

She also told the friend - who declined to be named - that she could pay back the sum within the week, but subsequently dragged out the payment in stages, coming up with different excuses each time. She also allegedly asked for more loans after repaying the original amount.

"We thought it was her father (who) went into a lot of debt. That's why even though she wasn't telling us the truth, we still lent her money, because she sounded really desperate," said the 25-year-old friend, who is still owed more than $5,000.

Another friend, a 27-year-old former schoolmate, said he had trusted Ms Low enough to lend her $1,000.

"This wasn't someone who's a serial gambler who doesn't have a job… She was a very esteemed member of NTU (Nanyang Technological University) and she was a valedictorian of the school," said the friend, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan.

Her friends also questioned how she could have spent such a large amount on beauty treatments, said Mr Tan.

Some of them went to the breast enhancement centre Ms Low claimed to have visited to check out the prices there, and found that the average treatment package, with 20 sessions, costs no more than $4,000.

Mr Tan said that the group has no plans to sue Ms Low for the money as the amount they could claw back would not be worth the legal fees.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Ms Low admitted to using the money for "beauty treatments", but said she has, through her father, paid back around $400,000 to various creditors.

She said she had been let go from her job after someone told her bosses about the police investigation.

"In terms of repayment, I do intend to repay, but I do have to find the means of another source of income," she added, noting that she was undergoing "psychological treatment and counselling" for her behaviour.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 29, 2019, with the headline 'Woman alleged to have cheated 73 friends of $800k'. Subscribe