(CNN)A Singaporean man is being investigated by police after allegedly lodging a false kidnapping claim in an attempt to cover up his involvement in a cash-for-sex scam.
Man falls for cash-for-sex scam and tries to cover it up with kidnapping story, police say
Singapore Police said the unidentified man, 20, received an unsolicited offer for sex from what he thought was a woman he met on an online dating app. He then paid the individual about $1,100 (1,500 Singaporean dollars) using credits on the digital payment app Alipay, police said in a news release, Tuesday.
However, the man did not get to meet the woman. Aware he had been scammed and concerned his parents would find out, the man "decided to concoct a cover story," according to police.
The man filed a police report saying the money was paid as a ransom to an unknown person who claimed to have kidnapped his parents.
Police said the suspect's report contained several "inconsistencies," most notably that he did not attempt to call his parents before paying what he claimed was a ransom.
"The man claimed that he did not call his parents to ascertain their safety as he was extremely worried," the news release said.
An investigation revealed that the man was a victim of what Singapore police call a "credit-for-sex scam."
Authorities in the city state say these types of crimes have been on the rise. Police say there were 533 reported credit-for-sex scams in 2018, an increase of nearly 29% from the year before.
People were cheated out of a total of $1.1 million (1.5 million Singaporean dollars), according to police statistics. The largest amount obtained in a single close was about $73,000 (100,000 Singaporean dollars).