Paul (not his real name) wrote into The Online Citizen to share his experience with a social escort website. While he confesses that he is not proud to let people know of his experiences, but he feels that he has the duty to warn others of the danger of engaging local social escort services.
Paul shared that he was bored and decided to check out a social escort website.
After seeing the picture of a girl whom he took an interest in, he decided to engage their services and call for the girl. The first thing he did was required to do was to fill up a contact form provided on the website, for personal details such as full Name, address, email, handphone number.
"I paid by credit card and was told by a lady on the other line to go to the certain hotel room and wait. I paid for the hotel room and went to the room to wait. Never did I realized the action of giving up my information would cause me such trouble and distress later on." wrote Paul.
He was shocked when the lady who turned up at the hotel room, is not the girl whom he picked, and the lady was also of a different race.
"Well, even if it's misrepresentation, it's too late for me to regret because I have paid for the hotel room. I thought that was about it, and the bad service ends that day but I was wrong." lamented Paul.
A few weeks later after the deal, Paul received an email from a stranger. The person claims that he or she knows that Paul has a family and that there is evidence on the person's hand that Paul engaged a prostitute few weeks earlier.
The stranger went on to threaten Paul that his sexual adventure would be exposed to his wife unless he pays $5000 for their discreet services.
Infuriated for being extorted by an unknown stranger, Paul stormed to the social escort company.
After several rounds of confrontation with the social escort company, the company finally admitted that they had sold his personal data to a data dealer. They had no way of tracing who had his information and could do nothing to help Paul in his predicament.
TOC tried to call the social escort company but there was no answer from the number.
"Right now, I can't do very much as the email source cannot be traced. I love my wife and children very much and do not want to lose them over this minor occasional mistakes. I will pay the person but I do not know whether my misfortune will end after make the payment or they will continue to ask for money."
Paul says that he is sharing his story so as to warn others of letting social escort companies having their personal information.
"Trust me, you do not want the fear, stress and anxiety I'm experiencing now." wrote Paul.
When told that the act of engaging the service of sex workers is not illegal and was advised that he should probably seek the help of the police for his case on extortion. Paul replied, "Thanks, but I think I should remain silent. My worst fear is for my wife and kids to find out."
Under the Singapore Law, Section 383 of the Penal Code, whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any harm to that person or to any other person, in body, mind, reputation or property, whether such harm is to be caused legally or illegally, and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, is deemed to have committed “extortion”.
If found guilty, one shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 7 years and with caning.