A man in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, claimed to have tricked at least 40 men by pretending to be a woman online and offering massage services. The case came to light after the woman whose photo he had been using filed a police report against him, leading to his arrest.


The man, identified by his initials RH, has reportedly been pretending to be a woman named Mawar in order to attract clients for his massage service, according to a report by state news agency Antara. 

“From his confession, he has served over 40 people,” Kadek Adi Budi Astawa, who heads the criminal investigation unit at Mataram Police, said. 

RH said he offered the service online and that the sessions never escalated into anything more beyond the massages. He said he charged IDR300,000 (US$21) per client and that the therapeutic sessions took place in his room at a boarding house, locally known as kos/kost.  

RH explained that he adorned a hijab (veil) when receiving clients and kept his room dark in order to fool his customers. 

However, the trickery came to an end after the woman whose photo he had been using to attract customers filed a report against him. RH said he obtained the woman’s photo via her Facebook account and that they were friends in school. 

“I only gave massages, I am very sorry [for what I did],” RH said. 

RH, who is now in police custody, is accused of violating Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), which criminalizes online identity theft and fraud.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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