‘Don’t trust pretty women, hunky men online’


Compiled by C.ARUNO, MAHADHIR MONIHULDIN and R. ARAVINTHAN

A former swindler specialising in romance scams has a word of advice for men and women who are suddenly approached by attractive members of the opposite sex – don’t trust them.

“If you can’t even meet pretty women or hunky men in real life, what are the chances you will get to do so online?” said the individual who was himself scammed and trafficked to Myanmar.

China Press reported that the 26-year-old, who wanted to only be known as Anthony, was forced into scamming others after being duped in a job scam.

After losing his job as a waiter in 2022, Anthony applied and successfully obtained a job as a sales manager in Thailand which claimed to pay between RM7,000 and RM10,000.

After landing in Thailand, Anthony was brought to Mae Sot city and then smuggled across the border to Myanmar’s KK Park, which is a notorious hub for crime syndicates.

He was put to work for a syndicate that specialised in romance scams. In his first week, he was trained on how to dupe women into falling in love with him.

Anthony was shown how to win over hearts using a translation app and a software that could change his voice.

A romance scam involves feigning romantic intentions towards a victim before exploiting that goodwill and affection to get the victim to send the scammer money under false pretences.

Anthony remained at KK Park for seven months before being sold to another syndicate in northern Myanmar.

“When I was still trapped there, I found out that about half of the people there were Malaysians. They went there voluntarily and had been working for scam syndicates even when they were in Malaysia.

“They decided to follow their bosses over to Myanmar to further their careers,” he said.

Anthony managed to escape when fighting broke out in northern Myanmar between the Myanmar military and armed ethnic groups.

He and 120 other Malaysian job scam victims were rescued and brought back to Kuala Lumpur on Dec 1.

> Taiwanese singer Julian Chen has denied accusations of tax evasion and being emotionally abusive towards a former employee, adding that he will take legal action against the latter, the daily also reported.

The 52-year-old admitted that he had unpaid taxes but denied that it was tax evasion. He received the tax agency’s final notice on overdue taxes in September 2023 and has settled all of them.On the emotional abuse allegations, Chen said his accuser had started a character assassination campaign against him.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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