I lost over $90k to an Internet Love scam

Anonymous | 10 May 2023

Investment Scam Internet Love Scam
On March 24th, I encountered a person named Joshua Tan on the Coffee Meet Bagel dating app. We switched our conversation to WhatsApp, where he sent me a video of him deleting the dating app, expressing his sincerity about a relationship, and urging me to do the same.

The following day, he called me and claimed to work as a cybersecurity professional at IBM. He shared pictures of food and boasted about his wealth, including his monthly salary of $20,000, his condo at Stirling Residences, and his car. He repeatedly brought up a private placement investment opportunity offered by Andrew, the CFO of "Guoco Group." Shortly after mentioning that he would be traveling to Indonesia for a two-week work trip, he asked me to take photos of a BTO project for him. As a token of gratitude, he invited me to invest my money alongside him.

Despite never meeting in person during the initial two weeks, I trusted him due to his daily phone calls, which seemed intended to build trust. He was a Malaysian who could speak Chinese, Hokkien (Penang Accent), and Cantonese. I became involved in the investment scheme, starting with an initial investment of $500, which yielded a return of $60 the following day. In the second incident, he convinced me to try investing $10,000, but it turned out to be a trap. He claimed the $10,000 was for booking purposes and required an additional $40,000 to secure a return of $11,000, along with my initial $50,000 investment.

Once the returns were secured, he claimed my password was incorrect, freezing my account. To unfreeze it, he insisted that I topped up $70,000 within 48 hours. Meanwhile, he claimed to have borrowed money from his colleagues, friends, and boss to help me overcome the situation. He led me to believe that since he topped up my initial investment, I could trust him. However, as soon as the money was deposited, he declared that my credit score was below 60 and prevented me from making withdrawals. All my savings were tied up in the investment, and he continued to request more money to increase my credit score within 48 hours. He even asked me to borrow personal loans from banks, friends, and private lenders.

Upon seeking help from my friends, they advised me against it and encouraged me to report the incident to the police. From that point on, he ignored me when I refused to deposit more money, and the link he shared (https://www.gclpvtpmsg.com/) became invalid. Although his contact number in Singapore was no longer valid, his WhatsApp account remained active online.

After my experience, I discovered several similar stories involving GuocoLand. I lost a total of $92,000, and I am currently relying on borrowed money from my close friends for daily expenses, which makes me feel awful.