SINGAPORE – A 25-year-old man is under investigation for allegedly lodging a false police report to cover up for money he lost in a credit-for-sex scam.

The man claimed that he was being blackmailed by three men after accidentally bumping into one of them. He said he was made to send serial codes of Alipay credits worth $9,200 to a specified e-mail address to compensate for injuries he caused, the police said on Wednesday (July 24).

Suspicious of the inconsistencies in the man’s account, the police probed further and learnt that he was actually a victim of a credit-for-sex scam.

It is believed that he received an unsolicited offer of sexual services from a woman on an online dating app and was told to deposit at least $9,200 worth of Alipay credits to book her services. Soon after, he realised that he had been duped as he did not get to meet the woman despite sending the serial codes.

It is believed that the man lodged the police report to account to his partner for the lost money.

Members of the public are reminded that those who lodge false reports or provide false information will face serious consequences, the police said. Anyone convicted of providing false information may be jailed for up to a year, fined up to $5,000, or both.

The police received 533 reports of credit-for-sex scams involving $1.5 million in 2018, an increase from the 414 cases, amounting to $1 million, reported in 2017.

Members of the public are advised to be wary when receiving friend requests from strangers on online dating or social media sites, especially when they are offering escort, massage or sexual services. Personal details, Pins or serial codes should not be given out to strangers on the Internet.