Scam through social networking website

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean woman almost fell prey to a scam when she befriended a man through a social networking website.

The man, who is apparently Caucasian, had gained her trust through their correspondence over a social networking website and instant messaging platforms since September 2013. They had also exchanged compromising photographs of each other.

In November 2013, the man told the woman that he would be coming to Singapore and wanted to meet her.

However, before he could make the trip to Singapore, he requested for money from her to be transferred to his overseas bank account for clearance and administrative fees.

Fortunately, she sensed something was amiss and reported the matter to the Police.

Members of public are advised to be aware of such scams and to adopt the following measures:

a. Inform the Police immediately if anyone attempts to extort money from you;

b. Be wary of messages from unknown people who want to befriend you;

c. Exercise caution when dealing with unknown persons "befriended" through the Internet.

d. Do not remit or transfer money to people who you do not know well enough. The criminal may spend months building rapport with you online before asking for money;

e. Do not accede to any request that may put you in a vulnerable positions, such as performing compromising acts in front of the webcam, or give personal details about yourself when interacting with other internet users; and

f. If you receive any message or call from anyone claiming he/she is in some kind of trouble overseas and needs you to urgently send money over, you should report the matter to Police and not transfer the money.

Anyone who encounters similar incidents is advised to call the Police hotline at 1800 - 255 0000 or '999' if urgent Police assistance is required.