The price of love: Pandemic fuels romance scams


Many tens of thousands of people are targeted by cons dubbed ‘romance scams’ every year, their numbers skyrocketing during the Covid pandemic when lockdowns sent people flocking to the Internet seeking a salve for isolation. — AFP

WASHINGTON: For years, Debby Montgomery Johnson didn’t tell anyone she’d been scammed out of more than US$1mil (RM4.18mil) by a man with whom she believed she was in a loving, though virtual, relationship.

“It should not have happened to me,” the business owner and former Air Force officer told AFP from her home in Florida, a common refrain among those defrauded by someone they met online and grew to trust.

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