Four Nigerian men and a Malaysian woman were on Tuesday, April 4th, arrested for their alleged involvement in a love scam syndicate in the Klang Valley, Malaysia.
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said police had their eye on the syndicate for some time before launching the operation.
"We raided several locations at Jalan Klang Lama, Cyberjaya and Damansara. During the raid, the team arrested four Nigerian men and a Malaysian woman aged between 28 and 40,"
Police also seized four cars, 13 mobile phones, six laptop computers, four bank books, and six ATM cards, he added.
Comm Acryl said the syndicate would find victims through social media and develop online relationships with them before conning them into making cash transfers to them.
“We believe the syndicate used variations of love scam and parcel scam tactics to dupe their victims,” he said, adding that the suspects have been connected to 43 cases so far involving at least RM950,000.
He said that from January to March this year, 581 love and parcel scam cases were reported involving losses of at least RM23.6mil.
Love scams refer to a con game where the syndicate starts a relationship with the victim through the Internet. The “lover” expresses a wish to marry the victim in Malaysia but is “arrested” upon arrival. The victim will be asked by the syndicate to pay for his or her release.
In parcel scams the victim is made to believe, via social media, that the trickster will send them a parcel as proof of their love.
A “Customs officer” or courier company will then contact the victim, demanding a tax or insurance fee for the parcel.
The parcel will not be delivered, however, and the syndicate will continue to ask for more money from the victims.