‘I blame myself’: Woman loses $5k after encountering scammer on Facebook dating service | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

SINGAPORE – What 27-year-old Ms Ong thought was blossoming love after an online encounter on Facebook’s dating service turned out to be a scam that saw her lose $5,000 in three weeks.

The Malaysian woman, who works as an administrative officer in Singapore, told The Straits Times that she was approached by a man on Facebook Dating in February.

He claimed to be a group manager at e-commerce and gaming company Sea and added Ms Ong as a Facebook friend. The man also started messaging her regularly over the course of three weeks.

“From time to time, he would talk about an investment programme, and after a while, he said I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to invest,” said Ms Ong, who wanted to be known only by her surname.

It was supposedly an exclusive scheme open only to those with invitation codes, she added.

The man sent her a link to a website with options to invest in projects such as Build-To-Order flats, non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency.

“I invested $2,100 the first time in early March and received $315 in profit within an hour,” said Ms Ong, adding that she was promised high returns.

Thinking that the scheme was legitimate, she invested another $5,000, only to be told that she had to invest additional funds in a “special project”, which the company was running, before she could get her cash back.

When she told the man that she had no more money, he told her to borrow from friends and family.

“He suddenly turned on me and said that if I could not raise the money for the project within a certain amount of time, I would have to pay a penalty fee,” said Ms Ong, who realised then that she had been scammed.

She made a police report and froze her bank account. The police confirmed that a report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.

“I blame myself for what happened, for making such a low-level mistake.”

She went on to post about what happened on Facebook and Chinese social media app Xiaohongshu. Ms Ong said she has received messages from more than 30 other victims, most of whom were also allegedly scammed by people posing as Sea employees. One woman claimed that she had lost $100,000.

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