SINGAPORE: A 20-year-old man is being investigated by the police for allegedly lodging a false police report after becoming worried his parents would find out he had fallen for a credit-for-sex scam.
Singapore Police Force said in a news release on Tuesday (Jun 4) that they received a report last Friday from the man, who said 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 ascertain their safety as he was extremely worried," said the police. "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."
Over the course of their investigations, officers detected several inconsistencies in the man's report.
It was eventually revealed that the man had actually fallen for a credit-for-sex scam. As part of the scam, the man received an unsolicited offer of sex from a woman on an online dating application, said the police.
He was told to make a deposit via Alipay credits to book her services, and he proceeded to buy about S$1,500 worth of Alipay credits at an AXS machine in Bishan.
However, he did not get to meet the woman.
Worried that his parents would find out what had happened, he decided to "concoct a cover story about the fake kidnap" and make a police report instead, SPF added.
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," the force said.
Anyone found guilty of providing any information which he or she knows to be false to a public servant could be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
Credit-for-sex scams have been on the rise recently, with the police receiving 533 reports of such scams last year, leading to losses of S$1.5 million.
This was an increase from 414 cases reported in 2017, which involved losses of S$1 million.