The Police are investigating a 20-year-old man who is believed to have lodged a false report.

On 31 May 2019, the man lodged a police report stating that he received a phone call from an unknown person who had kidnapped his parents. The man claimed that he did not call his parents to ascertain their safety as he was extremely worried. Instead, he acceded to the demands of the unknown person and purchased around S$1,500 worth of Alipay credits. He then sent the serial codes of the credits to an email address given by the unknown person.

During the course of investigations, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department detected several inconsistencies in his report. Investigations revealed that the man was a victim of credit-for-sex scam. He 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. The man then proceeded to purchase around S$1,500 worth of Alipay credits at an AXS machine in Bishan on 31 May 2019, but did not get to meet the woman.

As the man was worried that his parents would find out that he had lost monies in a credit-for-sex scam, he decided to concoct a cover story about the fake kidnap and lodged a police report.

Investigations against the man are ongoing. The Police 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 any information which he or she knows to be false, to a public servant shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with a fine which may extend to $5000, or with both.

In 2018, the Police received 533 reports of credit-for-sex scams involving losses of S$1.5 million. This is an increase from 414 cases reported in 2017, involving losses of S$1.0 million. The Police would like to remind members of the public to take the following steps to avoid falling for such scams:

Be wary when you receive friend requests from strangers on online dating or social media applications, especially when they are offering escort, massage or sexual services.

Do not give out your personal details to strangers on the Internet.

Do not provide PINs or serial codes of online shopping credits (e.g. Alipay credits) to strangers whom you have just met over the Internet.

Source: Singapore Police Force