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Nigerian, Malaysian nabbed over $237,000 Internet love scams

Timothy Goh, The Straits Times - Singapore - 19-04-07
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Romance Scams
Romance Scams (graphic courtesy of FBI)

A Nigerian man and a Malaysian woman have been arrested over a series of Internet love scams that netted $237,000 from unsuspecting victims.

They were apprehended in a raid on a Melaka apartment where officers also seized several telecommunication devices, ATM cards and a laptop.

Reports of the scams started coming in last September from Malaysia and Singapore, prompting a joint investigation by the authorities on both sides of the Causeway.

Police believe the 30-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were involved in at least 11 fraud cases.

Scammers would usually meet the victims online and develop virtual relationships with them.

They would then promise to send them parcels of luxury goods from overseas.

The victims would later get phone calls from people claiming to be Customs officers, saying that the gifts had been detained at checkpoints and fines would need to be paid for their release.

Malaysia's Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) and the Singapore Police Force's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) have been collaborating on the investigation.

CAD director David Chew thanked CCID director Pahlawan Mazlan Mansor and his officers from CCID's Operations and Intelligence Division for their strong support.

"We are working very closely with our foreign counterparts to fight transnational criminals who perpetrate scams behind the veil of the Internet," he said in a statement.

The police advised members of the public to be careful when befriending strangers online and to be wary when asked to send money to bank accounts of people who they do not know or who claim to be government officers.

More information on frauds can be found at scamalert.sg or on the anti-scam hotline: 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with information on scams can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.


Tags: Nigerian, Malaysian, love scam, romance scam,


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