According to Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), the fraudsters are based in China and Hong Kong and have used social platforms to start romantic relationship with Taiwanese citizens and then persuaded them to invest in fake financial companies.
Now, the CIB is looking to cooperate with the two countries to investigate and fight this type of scam.
Tugging at heart strings
“The suspects used social media to add Taiwanese people as ‘friends’… and gradually lured the victims with cyber honey traps to gain their trust and emotional involvements,” the CIB said, as reported by French news agency Agence France-Presse.
They were tricked into putting money in fake investments, promising very good returns displayed on bogus websites. But when the victims would claim the money back, nothing was left.
Huang Ming-Chao, the CIB’s commissioner, said that collaboration between Taiwan, China and Hing Kong is needed or “similar cases would keep happening”.
The Bureau said that, since January 2018, over 500 people have fallen victim to the scam and around $30m (£24.1m, €26.7m) has been lost, with one victim being defrauded $2m alone.