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Author Topic: Love Scams  (Read 5464 times)

Offline greentara

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Love Scams
« on: August 29, 2017, 05:52:04 PM »
Elaborate scam dupes divorced mother of $1.1 million
David Sun | Aug 29, 2017

Multiple trips to Malaysia, a fake United Nations officer, a fake bank website and a briefcase purportedly containing US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in cash - this was the elaborate set-up of a scam that swindled a woman here of $1.1 million.

The 45-year-old victim, Grace (not her real name), was duped into believing she was helping to free a "close friend" who had been detained in Malaysia on suspicion of money laundering.

Her case is among 349 love scams reported to the police in the first half of this year.

The Singapore permanent resident, who had been doing business here for over a decade, met a Canadian man named Lee, 52, through a friend here last September. They went out several times and kept in touch via Facebook.

Early this year, she received a phone call about Lee being detained at Malaysian customs for trying to bring a briefcase containing $2.7 million into Singapore.

"Lee told me he was going to use the money to buy a house here and was being held by the police. He asked for help and said someone from the United Nations (UN) would contact me," the divorced mother told reporters in a phone interview yesterday.

A man claiming to be from the UN called her four days later and said he needed US$250,000 to get Lee released. Grace met the man in Kuala Lumpur and was shown the allegedly impounded briefcase containing the money.

She was told Lee needed two certificates issued by the UN to prove he was not laundering money. "Lee gave me a website link to a bank and asked me to help him transfer the funds," she said.

When Grace could not withdraw the money from his account, she decided to use her own money.

Over the next four months, she made about 10 trips to Malaysia to hand large amounts of cash to the "UN officer".

When Grace said she had no more money, she was told Lee had been "deported". She then realised the online banking site she had been given was a duplicate of a real bank in Canada, and made a police report in June.

But by then, it was already too late.

“They (the scammers) were very professional,” she said.

“I usually help my friends out, and I didn’t know that this would happen to me.”

A police spokesman said such crimes are challenging to solve, and urged members of the public to exercise caution.

“A significant proportion of online commercial crimes are committed remotely by foreign syndicates that will continue to find ways to exploit and prey on the vulnerabilities of potential victims,” said the spokesman.

“The police will continue our efforts to educate the public from becoming victims of commercial crimes.”


Offline greentara

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Re: Love Scams
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 07:49:27 PM »
Singapore, Malaysia bust Internet love scam syndicate in cross-border ops
September 11, 2017

Fourteen suspects, including 10 Africans, were arrested in Malaysia and Singapore on Sept 6-7 in a cross-border operation against an Internet love scam syndicate.

SINGAPORE — A total of 14 suspects were arrested in Malaysia and Singapore in a cross-border operation against an Internet love scam syndicate, the police said in a press release on Monday (Sept 11).

Ten Africans were among 11 people picked up in Kuala Lumpur by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police in an operation held from Sept 6-7.

Simultaneously, Singapore Police's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) arrested three Singaporean men for assisting to transfer the syndicate’s benefits from the criminal conduct.

According to the statement, the suspects are believed to be responsible for at least 7 cases reported in Singapore and 25 cases reported in Malaysia. Victims lost approximately S$245,000 in these cases.

The police said that they have shared critical intelligence with their Malaysian counterparts since February this year of findings from online love scams reported in both countries.

In such scams, fraudsters would cultivate online relationships with victims, and then ask for monies from the victims to pay fines and fees after falsely claiming that they were detained by government authorities, the police said.

"In most cases, the fraudsters posed as successful or attractive individuals."

CAD director David Chew said: “This is yet another testament to the strong bonds between CAD and CCID. Both departments share a common resolve to ensure that transnational fraudsters do not get away with hiding behind the internet to commit crimes.”