Woman pretending to be a man extorts online girlfriend after pressing her to send nude photos

SINGAPORE – She befriended a “man” purportedly named Leon Ho Kai Jun online, developed feelings for “him” and sent over naked pictures and videos of herself.

But “Leon” turned out to be a woman, who used the pictures and videos to try to extort the victim.

Janelle Phang Minxuan, who caused the victim to lose more than $4,000, was sentenced to four months’ jail on Monday after the 23-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge each of cheating and criminal intimidation. 

There is a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 24 years old.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shen Wanqin said Phang had befriended the victim on the dating app Heymandi some time before Sept 26, 2020, and falsely represented herself to be a man born in 2000.

She used a man’s photograph for her profile on WhatsApp and Instagram.

Said the prosecutor: “She deceived the victim from the get-go because she planned to ‘scam her (the victim)’, ‘play with her feeling(s)’ and cause her to believe that ‘Leon’ had fallen in love with her, thereby inducing her to give ‘Leon’ money and gifts.”

From Sept 26, 2020, to May 17, 2021, the pair spoke to each other daily.

Phang first started flirting with the victim over WhatsApp and told her as Leon that “he” would care for her if “Leon” was the only man in her life.

She also used a voice changing app to process and convert her voice messages to a male voice before sending them to the victim.

On Oct 4, 2020, the victim, thinking Phang was Leon, confessed her feelings. Phang reciprocated, to continue to lead her on.

On Nov 8, 2020, at the request of “Leon”, the victim agreed to be his girlfriend.

Though Phang had initially promised the victim to spend time with her in-person, she never fulfilled any of those promises and would give various excuses not to meet her.

DPP Shen said that Phang, as ‘Leon’, groomed the victim to be subservient to her by telling her that she should be loyal and obedient.

Phang then deceived the victim into buying items such as food and game credits for her.

She also made the victim resign from her job without notice, which resulted in her having to pay her employer $1,566.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.