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Police arrest 22-year-old woman who posed as male in online love scam

The Independent logo The Independent 6 days ago Anna Maria Romero
a pile of candy © The Independent Singapore

Singapore— A 22-year-old woman has been arrested for her suspected involvement in an online love scam.

She is suspected to have posed as a male to start a relationship with another woman and con gifts from her.

The police reported her arrest on Tuesday (April 6).

In a press release, the police said they received a report regarding such a scam earlier this year, on Feb 4.

A 21-year-old woman had been befriended by the scammer, who posed as male in their social media exchanges. 

They soon developed a relationship, wherein the scammer is said to have cheated the victim into buying gaming credits and gifts for her. 

Officers from Bedok Police Division investigated the case, and were able to determine the identity of the scammer.

She was arrested on Wednesday (Apr 6). Investigations are ongoing concerning her alleged scam.

According to the police, “The offence of cheating, punishable under section 420 of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to 10 years, and a fine.”

The police warned the public to take precautions when making friends online and to be very careful when asked for money or gifts for people they have never met. These requests could be a scam, the police said in the press release. 

“For more information on scams, members of the public can visit scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. Anyone with information on such scams may call the Police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness,” the police added.

The following are the signs to look out for in a love scam:

  • a profession of undying love very soon after meeting online
  • using loving words and offers of sending gifts in order to gain interest
  • excuses to not make video calls
  • sudden stories of bad things happening to them, accompanied with requests for help (usually financial)

There were 820 cases of love scams in 2020, the second-highest number in recent years, second only to 2017, when there were 826 cases.

Last month, the police issued the following warning:

“The Police would like to alert members of the public of a new variant of Internet love scams, where the victims were purportedly asked to assist in transferring funds from fake bank websites.
In these cases, the scammers would befriend the victims on social media platforms. Thereafter, scammers would provide the victims with a fake bank website and login credentials and request the victims’ assistance to transfer funds. After logging into the fake banking websites with these login credentials, the victims discovered that they could not make any transfers from the account. The victims would then be convinced to pay administrative charges in order to complete the fund transfers, or transfer the funds required by the scammers from their own accounts instead. Victims eventually realised that they were scammed when the scammers became uncontactable, or were asked by the scammers to transfer funds multiple times.”

/TISG

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