I lost over $1600 to someone I met online

Anonymous | 03 Feb 2019

Internet Love Scam
Met this 47 year old man on coffee meets Bagel app. was skeptical at first and didn't swap numbers till he seemed more like a regular guy and the CMB chatroom was closing. he made a mistake in the mobile number he sent on cmb so u reopened the chat and eventually we linked up on WhatsApp. Told me he was divorced with a 15 year old son (Jason), was a Swede based In L.A. (USA) and relocating to SG for a contract (turnaround maintenance in oil and gas industry). rejected his request to borrow money for son's study trip and he was nice about it. he also mentioned early on that he was the only son and his dad was sick and needed surgery but his cash flow was too tight. After his contract finished and he received his payment, he said he wanted to send me gifts. didn't want to share initially cos it sounded more like a scam, but eventually have him my home address and email and got a notice of his shipment from a Courier company (Omicron Express). Looked up courier company and had my doubts but decided to take a risk and pay USD$1205 to enable the shipment to leave the port. Then came the usual expected scam storylines of dad dying, courier company emailed to say package was held up cos of cash found in it and asking for USD$10200 PAYMENT IF NOT it will be impounded and I'll be subject to legal investigation, and pics he sent of gifts In the package that were pics from the internet. made a police report here (tip: you need to make a statement at a police station, rather than just report online via SPF e-services if criminal activity was involved). trolled him for a bit then blocked him.

Essentially, any storyline with the person being only child or orphan, divorced or widowed and with NO SOCIAL SUPPORT/friends he can turn to for help, AND if he's using sweet words and saying he loves you within a week or so linking up online, is usually a scammer. I took a risk partly out of curiosity and partly cos there were other actions and our phone calls that made this guy seemed normal, but bottom line is still never to lend or give anyone money, even if you've met THEM or spoke to them on the phone. in this case I even had a legitimate-looking courier website with tracking code and updates on the "package" to make the scam seem real.