The number of online dating scams has doubled in the past nine months, according to the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau.
Chief Inspector Lam Cheuk-ho said most of the scams target women aged 40 to 50, hk01.com reports.
Lam did not give a precise number.
He said there are many ways the scammers would disguise themselves, such as Nigerians pretending to be European or American professionals.
Many of these fraudsters would enter Malaysia with a student visa and use social media to develop relationships with their victims.
They would then start to swindle them of their money by asking for cash with excuses such hospitalization or lawsuits.
Police have found that some of the female victims have even flown to Malaysia to meet their supposed boyfriends, but the scammers would pretend to be their boyfriend’s friend and show her around while showing off how rich the man is.
“Some women would fantasize about how their boyfriends would give them money,” Lam said. “It could be that the scammers had shown her a large stack of cash during her stay.”
The scammers would then request money from the women after they had returned to Hong Kong with other sorts of excuses.
The amount stolen from the victims topped HK$1 million, Lam said.
If they are vigilant, victims could spot problems with the scammers’ identity “documents” because these are crudely made, he said.
“The English, writing, and format are not the same as the real thing,” he said.
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