KUALA LUMPUR: A 44-year-old woman lost about RM2.7mil after a five-month “relationship” with a so-called airline pilot whom she had met on a dating app.
The woman said she had gotten to know a “foreign man”, supposedly an American pilot, through Tinder in November last year.
According to Kuala Lumpur Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) acting chief Supt Mohd Mahidisham Ishak, throughout their five-month relationship, the victim was told to make payments to a Malaysian company, purportedly for flying courses.
“When her savings were depleted, the victim began borrowing money from her family members, ” he said yesterday.
The woman lodged a police report on Thursday over a loss of about RM2.7mil to the scammer, he added.
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, highly educated and with successful careers, ” he said.
He urged the public to be vigilant and not get entangled in romance 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.
In love scams, a suspect often befriends the victim and initiates a “relationship” over social media.
Before long, the suspect will profess his love for the victim and say he wants to come to Malaysia to marry her.
Next, the fraudster will seek financial assistance from the victim by making up various reasons to gain her sympathy.
Once the money is given, the suspect will cut off all contact.
Supt Mahidisham urged those with information on any criminal cases to contact the KL police hotline at 03-2115 9999 or the nearest police station.