KUALA LUMPUR: A 44-year-old woman lost about RM2.7mil of her savings after she was duped by an "American pilot" in a love scam.
Kuala Lumpur Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) acting chief Supt Mohd Mahidisham Ishak said the woman lodged a police report on Thursday (April 15).
"She claimed that she got to know a foreign man, who is supposedly an American pilot, in November last year via the dating app, Tinder.
"Throughout their five-month relationship, she was asked to make various payments to a local company, purportedly for flying courses.
"Once her savings were depleted, she even borrowed money from her family members," he said when contacted on Friday (April 16).
Supt Mahidisham said the KL CCID had investigated 72 love scam cases last year compared to 42 cases in 2019.
"Most of the victims were women, aged between 30 and 60. Most of them are highly educated and they have successful careers as well," he added.
He reminded the public to be more careful in getting involved in online relationships via social media.
"Don't be easily fooled by the sweet words of someone you have never met.
"Check the background of your new online acquaintance before deciding to offer financial assistance," he said.
Supt Mahidisham urged those with information on any criminal case to contact the KL police hotline at 03-2115 9999 or the nearest police station.
Love scams often begin with the suspect befriending and beginning a “relationship” with the victim over social media.
Before long, the suspect will profess his love for the victim, saying that he wants to come to Malaysia to marry her.
He would then seek financial assistance from the victim by making up various reasons to gain her sympathy.
Once the money is paid, the suspect usually disappears and will become uncontactable.