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Man loses $1.8 million in crypto scam after responding to Tinder message – News | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

He transferred the money to nine bank accounts in over 22 transactions between March 6 and March 23

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File photo used for illustrative purposes

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 4 Apr 2023, 3:33 PM

A financial consultant in Hong Kong was scammed out of more than HK$14 million (US$1.8 million) in just five weeks. It turned out the 55-year-old man fell victim to a romance scam after responding to a message on Tinder.

The swindler, impersonating a female investment broker from Singapore, duped him of the amount by convincing him to invest in cryptocurrency, South China Morning Post reported.

After an initial conversation on Tinder, the man continued to communicate with the impersonator through WhatsApp, developing an online relationship. During their “digital courtship”, the man was convinced to invest through a bogus trading website and promised “high returns”.

As part of the investment, he transferred HK$14.2 million (US$1.8 million) to nine designated bank accounts over 22 transactions between March 6 and March 23, the report added.

The victim noted the first sign of trouble when he was unable to retrieve his money and supposed profits. Soon, he realised it was a scam and contacted the police towards the end of March, the report added.

Based on the complaint, the case has been classified as “obtaining property by deception”, an offence punishable by up to 10 years in jail under Hong Kong’s Theft Ordinance.

The man, however, is not the only one to fall prey to such monetary traps. In a similar incident, a Dubai resident lost his savings to a crypto-romance scam in January. This person too got a WhatsApp message from a Hong Kong number. A woman, named Coco, had sent him a message asking if he was working at a particular hotel in Dubai.

“I immediately messaged back to clarify that I was not the person she was looking for,” the man said. The conversation, which started towards the second half of 2022, took a turn for the worse when Coco spoke about her friend Linda, a Malaysia-based financial advisor. And, by December, the man had been conned out of $180,000 (Dh661,100).

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