Teen duo pretended to offer sexual services for cash to scam up to 20 victims of $1,500

Samuel Devaraj
The Straits Times
December 20, 2023

A teenage duo pretended to offer sexual services for cash to scam about 15 to 20 victims of around $1,500 in total.

A youth, now 19, pleaded guilty on Dec 20 to five charges, including one for the cheating offence.

His other offences include driving when he was below 18 years of age, by renting cars to go for supper, meet friends and visit Bukit Brown cemetery. He was 17 at the time.

His alleged partner in the scam, a 17-year-old girl, is expected to plead guilty on Dec 22.

They carried out their scams from around May to October 2022.

They cannot be named as they were below 18 when some of the crimes were committed and are protected under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ronnie Ang said they came up with the idea to earn “fast cash” some time in May 2022, by operating a scam in which the girl falsely offered sexual services in exchange for money.

They opened Telegram accounts and used photos of girls they found online as profile pictures.

They used a variety of pseudonyms on these accounts, such as “Gwen”, “Ash” and “Amanda”, and joined various Telegram public chat groups, such as Telegram Hitch and groups where sexual services are offered.

After joining these groups, they received private messages from their members who were interested in getting to know the fake account user.

The pair then pretended to offer sexual services in exchange for money.

Said DPP Ang: “For some chats, the co-accused sent voice notes of herself speaking to assure the other party that she was a real female.”

They would arrange to meet their victims, asking them to pay a deposit of between $10 and $50 before the meeting.

They provided the man’s PayNow number for payment. After paying, the victims were instructed to go to a meeting place.

When the victims showed up, the pair would tell them they were not comfortable to meet and ask for more money.

They would then stop communicating with the victims and block them.

On Oct 7, 2022, a 33-year-old man reported to the police that he had been scammed by a woman offering sexual services.

A probation report has been called for the 19-year-old offender. He is expected to return to court on Jan 31, 2024, for sentencing.

The Straits Times

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