We heard it all before: he says he’s single and ready to mingle. There is a catch though, he’s currently in a bit of a predicament and all he needs is some cash and y’all can finally be together.
Do Malaysian women fall in love way too easily? According to Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, there has been a total of 4,673 cases of dating scams in the country over the past 3 years. He believes that the number may be higher as victims are usually afraid they’d be ridiculed if they came forward.
Any guesses on how much money was duped during this duration? A whopping RM182.3mil!
Last year alone, 1,769 women were conned into losing RM60.1mil, said Ahmad Zahid. “Between January and May this year, 794 cases were reported where the victims parted with RM33.4mil,” he added.
“PDRM has taken several pro-active measures to prevent this activity which has been spreading rampantly through the social media. It has been happening in many countries including ours. The suspects used the identity of fair-skinned men who are handsome and rich to deceive women,” Ahmad Zahid continued.
It may be easy to dismiss the victims of love scams as foolish and rash, but romance fraud isn’t about intelligence, they’re emotional. As psychologist Monica Whitty points out, “People fall in love very quickly online and form hyper-personal relationships. When people like this look to the web for companionship, they form emotional bonds quickly and with an abandon they might not demonstrate in the offline world.”
“Warning people never to give money to someone they haven’t met just isn’t enough any more. These scammers are so skilled that if you stay in contact – even without giving them money at first – they’ll probably find a way to get it eventually. My advice is if the person you met online won’t meet you in real life, no matter how plausible the excuse, cease contact. Find someone else. It’s the only way to stay safe,” Whitty commented.
Regardless if you’ve been a victim to these scams, or know someone who has been through it, feel free to visit Scam Survivors for more information.