Anatomy of an Internet love scam

PUBLISHED: OCT 16, 2020

Over three months last year, journalists from The Straits Times corresponded with a love scammer, producing a story that exposed the way the ruse worked.

The story was this week given one of the top prizes at the Asian Digital Media Awards.

Here's what the investigation unveiled.

STEPS 1 AND 2

The first approach and swift declaration of affection

STEP 3

The fake meeting and urgent request

Other red flags

• Fake flight and hotel bookings
• Scammer gets the name of his "love interest" and his own name wrong • Photos sent, like the one below, were either stock images or taken from social media pages of unsuspecting people

$34.6 million

The amount Singaporeans lost to love scammers in 2019 . The number of such scams increased again in the first three months of this year.

Click below for the full story on the encounter with a love scammer.

Anatomy of a love scam
Anatomy of a love scam