Victims of credit-for-sex scams lose more than $389,000 in 1Q 2017

Credit-for-sex scams (Yahoo file photo)

The losses incurred from credit-for-sex scams totaled more than $389,000 in the first three months of this year, the police said on Wednesday (12 April).

The scam involves female suspects befriending male victims through chat apps such as Wechat, and then asking them to buy gift cards or online shopping credits in exchange for a meet-up or the promise of sexual service.

These victims would typically buy the cards and credits at AXS machines or convenience stores, before emailing images of the receipts together with PIN numbers to the scammers but they never get to meet the women whom they befriend online.

This month, police received reports of another variant of the scam, with victims being told to transfer cash to a local bank account as a deposit.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the reports. The suspect is believed to have helped a foreign scam syndicate to receive and transfer cash.

Police urged members of the public to be wary of befriending strangers online and not to disclose their personal details or payment receipts to such strangers.