SINGAPORE: A jobless man cheated multiple players of online game MapleStory of about S$1,400, asking for PayNow or Paylah payments for game currency.
After the cash was transferred, Chye Jie He, 28, did not deliver the promised "mesos", which are in-game currency for the popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
He was sentenced to three months' jail on Friday (Apr 3) after pleading guilty to three charges of cheating, with another eight charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that Chye contacted his victims and offered to sell them mesos in return for payment in Singapore dollars made to a PayNow or Paylah account.
He cheated 11 people in this manner between January and July last year, involving amounts ranging from S$35 to S$560.
The highest amount cheated was from a victim known as A1, who received a Telegram message from a stranger on Jan 10, 2019.
Chye, who was the stranger in question, offered to sell him mesos and A1 agreed to buy some for S$560.
He made a PayNow transfer to a mobile number Chye gave him and sent him a screenshot of the transaction.
Chye promised to send him the mesos as soon as possible, but instead deleted his Telegram account and could not be contacted.
Chye also played MapleStory and went by the character name xMercedesx. He told fellow players that he was selling mesos and tricked one person into transferring him S$200 for 5 billion mesos.
On Jul 8, 2019, a female player sent a message to a Telegram group saying that she wanted to buy mesos.
Chye texted the player on Telegram using the name Germaine and offered to sell her billions of mesos for S$185.
She agreed and transferred the money, but Chye backed out before the trade was completed and deleted the Telegram account.
In his scams, Chye had used phone numbers belonging to his friends and family in order to evade detection.
Several of the victims made police reports.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay had pushed for three months' jail, noting that some of the offences had been committed while Chye was already facing police investigations.
Chye, who was unrepresented, asked if the sentence could be lowered, "because I really change already".
He added that he had booked a date to get married at the Registry of Marriages in late May, and that his fiancee was due to give birth in August.
The prosecution objected to Chye's initial request to adjourn the hearing to August, saying it was too long a period of time.
The judge granted Chye's request to begin serving his sentence only on May 28, a day after he registers his marriage.
However, she told him: "You have to surrender on that day, if not a warrant will be issued and you will have more problems."
For each charge of cheating, he could have been sentenced to up to 10 years' jail and fined.