SINGAPORE – Posing on Twitter as “Regina” who offered “sexting” services, or the sending of sexually-charged text messages, a conman managed to convince his male victim into handing over nearly $9,000 in total after telling him sad tales 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 due to a gag order to protect the woman’s identity, admitted on Thursday (Jan 21) 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, a 29-year-old man, 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 then replied, offering services including sexting 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” soon after.
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, the conman had claimed that “Regina” was in financial debt, came from a broken family and had health issues.
Believing the lies, the victim transferred nearly $9,000 in cash to the conman on 14 occasions between April 4 and May 17 last year. The victim even borrowed money from his retired father to raise the cash, the court heard.
The conman used the monies for his personal expenses and has made no restitution.
“Regina” later threatened to publicly shame the victim when he refused to hand over more cash. He 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 her permission. The DPP said that the woman felt “distressed, shocked and angry” when she found out what her boyfriend had done.
Separately, he was at the Bedok Police Division Headquarters to have his statement taken last May when he unlawfully snapped photographs of the premises.
The offender’s bail was set at $15,000 on Thursday and he will be sentenced on March 23.
For cheating, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
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