Sweetheart scams internet dating

Lax student visa regulations and a high-tech banking system has made Malaysia a global hub for Internet scams, according to U. officials, with money being swindled out of unwitting Americans and Europeans by racketeers prowling online dating sites. embassy in Kuala Lumpur every week, with scam complaints forming four-fifths of new work for duty officers.“This is a serious issue hurting many Americans financially and emotionally,” said a U. Then the request for money comes, normally a relatively small amount at first; but once the hooks are in, the victim struggles to turn down subsequent heftier demands without admitting to having been hoodwinked."Some victims find it very hard to break away from the relationship, even when they've been told it's not real," says Professor Monica Whitty, an expert on Internet fraud psychology. citizens have fallen prey to such “sweetheart scams” since the phenomenon was first reported around 2007.

The conmen typically hail from Nigeria or Ghana and dupe lonely, middle-aged men and women from the U. and Western Europe through matchmaking services like Match.com, reports Reuters. "So the criminal admits to scamming the victim but says that they also fell in love with them at the same time, and they get back into the same scam."But it is not just lovelorn Americans who are being swindled; other foreign embassies in Kuala Lumpur are dealing with similar complaints, reports Reuters. Slightly more men than women are duped by fraudulent lovers, but men are less likely to seek recompense out of embarrassment.“Some people mortgage their houses to pay these criminals,” Whitty says, “but often the devastation they feel is more about the loss of the relationship than the money — of realizing they’ve been duped.”And worryingly, such scams appear to be growing more common; last year, U.

Whatever forces create the aura of romance, these guys exude it.

Imagine though, you have lost your husband of many years and, even though he wasn't a saint, his passing created a void in your life. Years have passed since his death and you are starting to become more independent.

“Techniques can be deployed that allow malicious individuals to be tracked,” he says, “which as time goes on will build intelligence to unveil the identity of the perpetrators.”Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of Cyber Security Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, says all involved nations must share information and jointly investigate cases according to agreed procedures and technical processes.“Various authorities from the various countries involved should work together rather than blaming each other,” he said by email.

They do this by a convincing ritual of courting the emotions of someone who, perhaps not aware of their need for love, has not had such flattering attention since their own heady youth.

The "Sweetheart Scam" is nothing new, but the internet and dating sites have made it much easier to pull off.

Scammers scour online profiles and use their charm to convince the victim that it's love at first sight.

“We would hope that through publicity more Americans would be made aware of these scams.”While most Internet users have received — only to swiftly mock and discard — some crude Nigerian scam emails, these tricksters are more sophisticated, and slowly build trust as a budding romance ripens.

S.-based IT security developer SOPHOS ranked Malaysia as sixth globally in terms of cyber crime threat risks, as the total cyber crime bill topped 0 million.