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Romance Scam

Scammers look for targets on various social platforms. After getting to know the victims’ interests, scammers easily win the victims’ affection and start an online romantic relationship. Then, scammers use a plethora of reasons to ask for money. Scammers and victims never meet in real life.Also, scammers induce the victims to participate in investment on fake investment platforms after a romantic relationship is established. Initially, victims would make small profits, but after putting in more money the victims would end up suffering huge losses. The fraud is also known as the “Pig-butchering Scam”.       [How Traditional Romance Scam Works] ProfessionalsScammers usually claim to be professionals, such as engineers or management officers in international corporations who come from Western countries but currently working in South East Asia. They communicate with the victims in English and ask them for money using different reasons.Excuses, excusesScammers falsely claim that they need to pay a large medical bill or need cash urgently;Scammers falsely claim that they have sent victims precious “gifts” from overseas which are held in customs and ask victims to pay the clearance fees/handling fee.Never met in real lifeVictims have never seen the scammers (be it in person or through video call). After scammers receive money, they delete their social media accounts, phone numbers or email addresses, cutting off contact with the victims completely.    [How “Pig-butchering Scam” Works] Pig SeekingScammers pretend to be wealthy millennials and look for targets on social platforms or dating apps and keep chasing them to establish romantic relationships shortly.Pig FeedingScammers induce victims to invest in securities, foreign exchange or virtual assets on fake investment platforms or by using fake mobile apps. In the beginning, scammers would let victims make small profits.Pig ButcheringWhen the victims make profits and request to cash out, the fake platform administrator will make up reasons to delay processing the request and lure the victims to make an even greater investment which causes the victims to suffer a huge loss. (The video is in Cantonese)     Anti-fraud advice- Use the search engine to search for photos shown on the other party’s social accounts- Check whether the friend circle of the other party’s account is abnormal- If you have doubts about the identity of the other party, try to talk to the other party via video calls- Do not download apps from unknown sources- Beware of investment plans with unrealistic returns- If in any doubt, call the fraud prevention hotline 18222 (Source:Website of Cyber Defender)

12 tricks of online romance scammers

The police have recently cracked down on an online romance fraud syndicate and seized a “12-step online dating guide” believed to be circulated within the group to showcase how to spot and ensnare potential victims. Let's take a look at the 12 tricks of online romance scammers listed below. Fraudsters are known to play different mind games and if you are not careful enough, you can easily become the next victim. To protect yourself against scams, always be vigilant and alert to news relating to scams. If you suspect that you have become a victim, call the Police’s Anti-Deception Coordination Centre hotline 18222 for help. (Information source: Investor and Financial Education Council)