Reformative training for young woman who cheated over S$25,000 from autistic man, other victims
SINGAPORE — Despite working part-time jobs after completing her secondary school education, a young woman found she was not making enough to cover her spending habits.
- A teenager was unable to cover her spending habits
- She then devised a way to cheat others that included online scams
- Now 20 years old, she was ordered to undergo six months of detention at a reformative training centre
SINGAPORE — Despite working part-time jobs after completing her secondary school education, a teenager found that she was not making enough to cover her spending habits.
She eventually devised a way to cheat others of a total of S$25,859.62, which included the sale of non-existent K-pop concert tickets and taking advantage of an autistic man.
On Tuesday (Nov 24), the youth, now aged 20, was ordered by a district court to undergo six months of detention at a reformative training centre, after she pleaded guilty to 19 charges pertaining to cheating, retaining stolen property, unauthorised access to computer material and providing false information to a public servant.
A total of 40 other charges of a similar nature were taken into consideration for the sentencing.
Reformative training is a regimented rehabilitation programme for offenders under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.
The accused cannot be named because she was under 18 at the time some of the offences took place. The Children and Young Persons Act bans the publication of the identities of such young offenders.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stacey Fernandez said that the offences the youth committed took place between November 2019 and August this year.
The youth had committed various offences, which were primarily online scams under various monikers that she operated via social media and messaging platforms such as Twitter and Telegram.
This was to deceive victims into believing that she had various items for sale, such as K-pop concert tickets or merchandise, as an easy way to make money.
THE K-POP TICKETS
Court documents showed that the highest amount she had cheated from someone was S$2,200.
This case involved a now 37-year-old communications director who contacted the accused via Twitter on Nov 17 in 2017 to express interest in buying four “Winner Cross Tour” K-pop concert tickets.
The accused told the victim that the total price of the tickets was S$1,800, and a payment transfer was made.
That same day, the accused told the victim that the price of the tickets had increased by S$100 for each ticket, which the victim agreed to pay.
However, on the date of the supposed ticket collection, the accused did not show up and could not be contacted.
In a separate case involving the retention of stolen property on March 16 last year, the accused contacted a 20-year-old student via Twitter and lied that she needed help to receive money from her father via the payment system PayPal for her school fees.
It was not stated how the two knew each other, but the student received S$2,174.33 over three separate transactions.
DPP Fernandez said that the accused then instructed the student to transfer that sum of money to her bank account.
The student realised something was amiss only when she was notified by PayPal that the three payments were being taken back.
Police investigations later revealed that the payments the student received were from victims living overseas that had been scammed by the accused.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS
The accused’s sole charge of unauthorised access to computer material involved a 30-year-old male victim who had autism.
DPP Fernandez said that the accused befriended the man in March 2019.
Between April and July that year, the accused would ask the man for money, and he would accede to the requests by giving her between S$10 and S$150 on multiple occasions.
The accused had also asked for the man’s internet banking details, which he provided.
When he eventually refused to give her money, the accused used the details that she had obtained and transferred S$900 from his bank account to her own.
DPP Fernandez said that there were also several occasions when the accused lied to police officers while she was under investigation for her offences.
To date, the youth has made restitution of only S$160 to one victim.
“She claims to have used the monies, which she derived from her offences, for her personal expenditure — including buying K-pop merchandise for her sisters, buying food for her and her family members, and paying for medical bills for the period when she was pregnant sometime between December 2020 and July 2021,” DPP Fernandez said.
For cheating, the accused could have been jailed for up to three years or fined or both.
For retaining stolen property, she could have been jailed for up to five years or fined, or both.
For unauthorised access to computer material, she could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.
For providing false information to a public servant, she could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both.