Total of $12 million cheated in 280 cases of Internet love scams: How to avoid falling prey

A total of $12 million was cheated in 280 cases of Internet love scams in the first half of 2018.

In these scams, the victims befriended and developed relationships with the scammers online.

Out of all the cases reported in the first half of 2018, at least 61% of these cases involved the scammers sending parcels containing luxury items or large sums of money to the victims from overseas.

The scammers' accomplices would then contact the victims, claiming to be representatives or staff from the courier company or government agency responsible for handling the parcel.

The victims would then be told that the parcel had been detained by authorities, and that they are required to transfer an amount of money to local or foreign bank accounts for fake reasons such as taxes, fines or anti-money laundering charges.

In the event that they do not transfer the money, the scammers threatened them with the possibility of prosecution.

The police advises members of the public to be wary when befriending strangers online.

  • Be careful when sending money to people whom you do not know.
  • If you are contacted by a stranger via phone demanding payment to a bank account for a government fine or charges, remain calm and stop all communication immediately, because this is most probably a scam.

For more information on scams, members of the public can visit or call the Anti-Scam hotline at 1800-722-6688.

Anyone with any information of such scams may contact the police hotline at 1800-255 0000 or submit information online at

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