Thursday, 25 January 2018

Lonely Hearts Lose Money Too

Hong Kong people continue to lose money in online romance scams
It seems many Hong Kong women are suckers when it comes to love. They are desperate for companionship and are willing to pay dearly for it.

Last year 235 people were swindled out of HK$108 million, more than double the 114 cases in 2016 that involved HK$95 million. Most of the victims are women, and more than 40 percent of them are between the ages of 40 and 50.

One such case saw a middle-aged woman losing a whopping HK$6.1 million in the biggest online romance scam the city has seen.

The scam lasted over 18 months -- and that whole time she had never met the man who supposedly loved her.

One woman recently reported losing HK$6.1 million
Through Facebook she met a man who claimed to be a retired American businessman living in Malaysia. He even sent a photo of a Caucasian man in his 50s. They later kept in touch via Facebook messenger, emails and SMS messages.

"After gaining her trust, he claimed he had HK$100 million in assets that was frozen by the authorities in Malaysia because he had failed to pay legal and tax-related fees," a police source said. "He then sought her help to pay the fees with the promise of repayment once the assets could be transferred out of the country."

The scammer managed to convince her to transfer HK$6.1 million in more than 100 transactions into several bank accounts in Malaysia during the 18-month period.

Why do women fall for such Machiavellian tricks? And with so much news about online scams in the news, one would think victims would realize they are being duped?

But some are too embarrassed to admit this or in denial that it's happening to them.

It's a sad state of affairs really. The more desperate women there are, the more scammers will prey on them. It's too high a price to pay for "love".

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