As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on Hong Kong, romance fraud cases have increased dramatically. Last year, the FBI reported a 70 percent increase in fraud cases, with victims losing thousands of dollars. Many of the scams involve men posing as professionals or wealthy businessmen. Nigerian men working in the city are a common victim, especially those on student visas. A recent promotional video produced by the Hong Kong police highlights the growing problem.
As with other forms of abuse, romance fraud cases are largely facilitated by professional criminals and liars, who spend time studying their victims to find their weak points. In most cases, the victims are older and recently divorced or widowed – but anyone can be a victim of these scams. Fortunately, there are ways to detect romance fraud cases and protect yourself from becoming a victim. Follow these tips to avoid falling victim to these swindlers.
The most common method of online romance fraud is social media. Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are full of liars who target elderly people and the lonely. These online scammers take advantage of their victims’ fears and vulnerabilities and set up accounts to exploit those fears. While a few scams may appear harmless, there are many ways to tell if a romance scam is fraudulent. If you see any red flags, report it immediately.