I lost over $80,000 to an Internet Love scam

Anonymous | 07 Jun 2023

Internet Love Scam Investment Scam
I met Joshua Tan (Chen Yi Da, DOB: 28/10/1990) on CMB app this year. We then moved the conversation to WhatsApp, and he sent me a video deleting the dating apps to prove he was looking for a serious relationship and urged me to do the same.

Joshua is a cybersecurity professional who shared daily photos of food and activities, despite my request for him not to. One day, he mentioned a work trip to Indonesia to resolve a client's database issue. We continued chatting for 2-3 weeks, during which he mentioned Guocoland/Guoco Group/Hong Leong Group.

Despite never meeting in person, I trusted Joshua due to our daily phone calls and his positive words, thoughts, and attitude. I fell into this trap.

Being overseas, Joshua asked for help checking the BTO status in Singapore to decide whether to invest in private crowdfunding or not. He emphasized the need for secrecy, as revealing the investment could cost him his job.

Out of goodwill, I went to the BTO site near my area. Later, Joshua claimed to have successfully invested in the BTO and said he owed me a big favor. I declined, but he insisted it was difficult to join the "investment platform" and used his favor to get me an account, urging me to cherish the opportunity. He then started explaining the investment procedures.

The process began with an initial investment of $500, which yielded a $60 return in 2 hours. After three "small investments," he advised me to top up funds to upgrade to a "silver member" and become a permanent member of the platform. I rejected this idea, feeling uneasy about how easy the money seemed to be earned. However, Joshua continued to persuade me, claiming it was a big chance for our better future.

Once again, I trusted him, and when I didn't have enough money, he topped up my investment. In the end, I had invested a total of $82,000 of my hard-earned money. When I attempted to make withdrawals, my account was frozen due to allegedly inputting the wrong password. To unfreeze it, I was required to pay $40,000 as a security fund within 48 hours. When I questioned Joshua about this, he deflected blame onto me for not informing him about the incorrect passwords, stating it was my problem, not the platform's. (I had entered the wrong password three times in a row, but was it really wrong all three times?)

Feeling deceived, I realized it was a scam. Joshua claimed he would try to raise $40,000 for me but also suggested I seek loans from banks, private lenders, or friends. He added, "If you don't want to settle, then it's okay. I'll try to help you."

After two months, I came across an article about Joshua. If only I had seen it two months earlier, none of this would have happened. Thus, I decided to share my experience to warn everyone.

Until now, I haven't been able to let go of this ordeal. I feel compelled to keep this secret until I die. To everyone, please remain cautious and don't let your guard down for anyone.