Man Arrested for Involvement in Credit-for-Sex Scams

The Police have received at least 164 reports on credit-for-sex scams in the first 3 months of 2017. In these cases, victims lost more than S$389,000.

The scam involves female suspects befriending male victims through social media platforms such as Wechat, and then asking them to buy gift cards or online shopping credits in exchange for a meet-up, date or the promise of sexual service. The victims were instructed to buy the cards and credits at AXS machines or convenience stores, before sending images of the receipts together with PIN numbers to designated email accounts for the scammers to claim them. Sometimes, other members of the scam syndicates will contact the victims and ask for further payments. The victims never get to meet the women whom they befriend online.

In April 2017, Police received reports on another variant of the said scam. Victims reported to the Police that they were told to transfer cash to a local bank account as a deposit, instead of purchasing gift cards or online credits.

On 11 April 2017, officers from the Commercial Affairs Department arrested a 25-year-old man in relation to these reports. The suspect is believed to have intentionally assisted a foreign scam syndicate to receive and transfer its benefits from criminal conduct. Investigations against the suspect are ongoing.

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam:

� Be wary of strangers who befriend you online and make offers of sexual services

� Do not provide personal details about yourself when engaging with other internet users

� Do not share your payment receipts containing details such as PIN numbers with anyone

� If you have any information relating to this scam, call the Police hotline at

1800-255 0000, or dial ‘999’ for urgent Police assistance.

Be wary when strangers ask to use your bank account to receive money from unknown sources, or to pass money to someone else through your account. The criminals could be using your bank accounts to deal with their illegal gains from their crimes. Anyone found guilty of money laundering offences may be sentenced to an imprisonment term of up to 10 years, or a fine of up to S$500,000, or both.

Source: Singapore Police Force

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