Singapore

Man posed as woman on Twitter to con victim of $9,000

He used girlfriend's topless photo as cover image, told sad stories to scam man

Posing on Twitter as "Regina" and offering "sexting" services, a conman managed to convince a male victim into handing over nearly $9,000 in total after telling him sad stories about "her" life.

The offender also posted his own girlfriend's topless picture online as the Twitter page's cover image. The picture did not show her face, the court heard.

The 24-year-old unemployed Singaporean man, who cannot be named to protect the woman's identity, admitted yesterday to one count each of cheating, unlawfully distributing his girlfriend's intimate image, and electronically transmitting an obscene picture of an unknown woman.

He also admitted to an unrelated charge of snapping pictures of the exterior and interior of Bedok Police Division Headquarters - a protected place - without permission.

The court heard that his male victim, 29, was browsing through Twitter on April 4 last year and came across Regina's profile. He decided to send a message without knowing that the profile, in fact, belonged to the conman.

The offender replied, offering services including sexting and the sending of sexually charged text messages, for $200 over 48 hours.

Deputy Public Prosecutor M. Kayal Pillay said that initially, the victim declined to pay for such services as he was facing financial difficulties. The conman, however, managed to persuade him to fork out the cash.

The victim transferred $200 to the conman's bank account later that day and continued to stay in contact with "Regina".

The conman then took the opportunity to tell the victim sob stories about "Regina's" life to get more money from him.

Among other things, he said Regina was in debt, came from a broken family and had health issues. Believing the lies, the victim transferred nearly $9,000 to the conman on 14 occasions between April 4 and May 17 last year.

THREATENED

"Regina" later threatened to publicly shame the victim when he refused to hand over more cash. The victim finally alerted the police on May 20 last year.

The conman's girlfriend also found out last year that the offender had uploaded her topless picture online without permission.

The DPP said the woman felt "distressed, shocked and angry" when she found out what her boyfriend had done.

The offender's bail was set at $15,000 yesterday and he will be sentenced on March 23.

COURT & CRIME