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SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Singapore appears to be popular with online scammers.
John said: "She looked so innocent and decent (in the We Chat display picture), I never expected it to be a scam." After befriending him for eight days, the student told him she needed him to help buy i Tunes gift cards for her studies.
A serial number on the back of the i Tunes card will let a user download music, movies, games or apps, according to the card's value.
She also told him she would meet him at 10pm near his place, as long as he bought the card for her.
But after he bought the first card, which cost 0, her "big brother" started messaging John, telling him to pay an additional fee to meet her.
He told John to snap pictures of the serial number on the i Tunes cards, so they did not have to meet physically.
Realising it was a scam, he made a police report at 3am.
John said: "I feel so stupid to have fallen into the trap.
Within this category, cases like cheating involving e-commerce and credit-for-sex scams had a large increase.
Crimes involving e-commerce have risen sharply over the past three years - from 238 reported cases in 2012 to 510 cases in 2013, and 1,659 cases last year.
Now, the latest involves syndicates from the Philippines targeting social media users here.
For this scam, men here receive unsolicited offers of sex by female strangers on social media platforms such as Facebook.
“Now that we have We Chat official accounts, we can report on our own stories by ourselves.