On December 27, last year, the New Straits Times (NST) reported that a 69-year-old retiree was cheated into banking RM242,620.30 as a payment to release a woman held at the immigration department.

What happens?

It all started when the retiree met a woman via an online dating application several months before the scam. 

The woman claimed that she wanted to find a job in Johor to be close to him.

The foreign woman who travelled to meet him has been detained by immigration because she failed to declare the US$10,000 (RM46,137) she brought with her.

After receiving a call from a man claiming to be an immigration officer, he was instructed to make a payment fee to release the woman and avoid deportation.

Our Advice

Avoiding love scams involves being cautious and vigilant, especially when interacting with people online whom you haven’t met in person. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to a love scam:

  1. Verify identities: Be cautious of individuals who refuse to video chat or meet in person. If someone claims to be from the police or immigration, verify their identity by calling the real authorities. 
  1. Stay sceptical: Be wary of individuals who profess their love or affection very quickly, especially if they haven’t met you in person. Scammers often use flattery and emotional manipulation to gain trust.
  1. Beware of requests for money: Never send money to someone you’ve met online, especially if they ask for it under the pretext of an emergency or to facilitate a meeting. This is a common tactic used by scammers.
  1. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your gut instinct. Don’t ignore any doubts or suspicions you may have about the person you’re communicating with.
  1. Seek advice: If you’re unsure whether you’re being targeted by a love scam, seek advice from friends or family members you trust. They may be able to offer an outside perspective and help you identify any warning signs.
  1. Report suspicious activity: If you suspect that you’re being targeted by a love scam, report the individual to the platform where you met them and consider contacting a law enforcement agency for further assistance.

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Lovestruck retiree, unemployed man lose almost RM500k to scammers

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