A Malaysia-based international love scam syndicated was discovered by police from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Macau after an 11-month operation.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) stated that four Singaporean women aged 28 to 67 were linked to the scam for facilitating the transfer of funds from the victims to the syndicate.
The SPF added that there were 30 reported cases of the love scam in Singapore which involved losses of over S$262,000.
The inter-agency investigation group consisted of the SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the Royal Malaysia Police, the Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force, and the Information Technology Crimes Division of the Macau Judiciary Police.
The investigations revealed 139 cases of love scams occurring the these countries. The cases resulted in losses of S$5.8 million.
“The success of this joint operation demonstrates the common resolve of the Singapore Police Force and its regional partners to fight transnational fraud, and sends a strong signal to cross-border scam syndicates that we will dismantle their networks and arrest their members, wherever they may be hiding,” said Mr David Chew, director of the CAD as quoted in a report by Today.
Love scams operate by making the victim fall in love with the suspect, living abroad, through social media or dating sites.
The two parties then agree to meet in real life to continue their “relationship.”
However, the victim will receive a call from the authorities that their date has been arrested while entering the country and are asking for a huge amount of money before they can be released.
The victim then transfers the money to the account, but never hears from their date again. /TISG