Singapore Woman Falls Victim to Elaborate Love Scam on CMB
This time round, it’s Coffee Meets Scam.
In the recent years, the prevalence of scams and cybercrime in Singapore has surged alarmingly.
According to the Singapore Police Force, the first half of the year witnessed an almost 70% increase in such cases, amounting to a staggering 24,525 incidents.
This figure is nearly double that of the previous year, and these are only the reported cases; many more likely go unnoticed.
Singaporeans have become all too familiar with scams, as evidenced by the detailed statistics available for various types of scams.
In 2022 alone, victims of internet love scams in Singapore lost a total of SGD 35.7 million, a figure more than eightfold that of a decade ago.
One such unfortunate incident involved a 28-year-old woman named Ms Bai (a pseudonym transliterated from Chinese).
Ms Bai encountered a man named “Corey” (transliterated from Chinese) on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB).
Corey claimed to be an elite graduate from a prestigious university in the United States and currently employed at a major audit firm.
The pair started communicating on 12 November and eventually shifted their conversations to Telegram.
Despite Corey’s gentlemanly demeanor and attentive nature, he persistently refused to meet Ms Bai in person.
He manipulated her into believing that her requests to meet were disrespectful of his boundaries and indicative of insincere feelings.
In her interview with Lianhe Zaobao, Ms Bai admitted that she was so enamoured with Corey at the time that she overlooked these red flags.
Their relationship continued online, with Corey sharing daily life updates over regular phone calls.
He eventually introduced Ms Bai to a private website, accessible only through a special passcode, and presented her as his partner.
Excited by this development and blinded by trust, Ms Bai joined the website and invested in a project involving metaverse and NFTs, lured by the prospect of quick and substantial profits.
You heard it – it was an investment.
This means Ms Bai had to take some big sum for her own pocket in order to reap the promised gains.
Initially, she invested $3,000 and received a $300 profit the next day.
Encouraged by Corey, who claimed he was investing $60,000 himself, Ms Bai subsequently invested $30,000, expecting a joint return of $111,000 on a total investment of $90,000.
However, the situation took a turn for the worse when her account suddenly froze.
A supposed customer service agent from the platform demanded a transfer of $83,160 to investigate and unfreeze her account, a request that defied all logic and raised suspicion.
Huh? Since when need to pay money to check account one?
Exactly. It was extremely unusual for a legitimate platform to be asking for such a big (and random) sum of money just for account matters.
Despite this, Ms Bai, still under the illusion of trust, confided in Corey and was persuaded to secure the amount through loans and assistance from a close friend, Ms Wong.
It was only after her parents learned of the situation that the true nature of the scam became apparent.
Thankfully, they urged her to file a police report immediately.
Reflecting on the ordeal, Ms Bai shared her story with Lianhe Zaobao, hoping to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to similar scams.
The case is currently under investigation.
But in the meantime, watch this video to see how to prevent yourself from getting scammed:
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