Last year, the Malaysian High Commissioner in Nigeria told a Nigerian news outlet that 13, Nigerians were in Malaysia on student visas. According to a Reuters report in , American women, too, were targets of Internet scammers based in Malaysia, with losses amounting to several million US dollars annually. The updated figure was actually We have been experiencing some problems with subscriber log-ins and apologise for the inconvenience caused.
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Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. In this era of social media, online dating has become increasingly popular, with a significant number of people preferring to use the available online platforms to find their significant other. However, these platforms have also become a major target for cyber criminals who are out to make money from gullible victims.
Unfortunately, online dating scams are very common in Africa today. The organization said this type of crime has proven difficult to deal with since the culprits have perfected ways of exploiting the emotions of their victims who are usually made to believe that they are in a genuine romantic relationship. Early on in the chat, Derry changed his contact number, claiming that he had lost his phone. While it did occur to her that changing one's contact number early in the conversation after zeroing on in the target does sound like something a scam artist would do, she ignored it.
Another warning sign is when she asked him to Skype, he refused, claiming that he had never used it before and was busy.
After which, she didn't push for it. However, it did create doubt on her mind that if a person she met online refuses to video chat with her, he might not be the person behind the photos, yet she ignored her feelings of doubt.
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As their conversation grew, Derry told her that he will be travelling to Miri, a coastal city in northeastern Sarawak, to buy antiques. While he intended to be in Miri only for a few days, he later claimed his stay got extended longer than he had planned as he found more antiques to buy. He sent a few photos of the items he bought:. According to the blog post, Derry claimed to her that he was trying to buy an antique vase from a lady in Miri but because he was not familiar with the local language, he couldn't buy it. So the woman suggested that she can speak to the lady next time Derry goes to meet with her.
The next day, when he was purportedly at the shop, he asked her to help talk over the phone to a Malay female shop owner to haggle the price of the vase, which was being sold at RM12, She managed to convince the lady to lower the price. This convinced her further he was doing legitimate business. All through this while, Derry, according to the woman, acted unlike a typical romance scam artist who reveals his undying love for the woman early on.
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Instead, Derry played it cool, telling her interesting and funny stories of his stay in Malaysia. He shared some of the culture shocks he experienced while travelling to a village to buy antiques and his experience of learning to eat with his hands like the locals.
He even told her how he met two women here who he got close to but it didn't work out as one of the women wanted him to convert to Islam, which he refused because he's a Christian, and another turned out to be a lady boy which he could not recognize because he was a foreigner, claims the blog post written by the woman. In the blog post she confesses that the way he told the stories, it sounded so sincere that she felt sorry for him.
In short, Derry did everything, she claims, what a real guy, who's actually interested in someone, would do. Like, tell them how much he appreciates having them around, how great it would be to share little joys of life, etc. Subtle ways of putting the idea, as she claims in the blog post, in her head that he needed a woman in his life and that she could be that one special person. Eventually, he started addressing her with adjectives such as "dear" and "darling".
While she doesn't prefer guys calling her those things, she let him do so because "I felt connected with him. For his next step, Derry told her that he intended to rent a car when he got back to KL, adding that this way he could do his business registration easily. To lure her in, Derry sent her photos of the car he intended to rent.
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It was a very flashy looking BMW convertible:. It was all part of his scheme to convince her that he was a rich guy. He included a forwarded email from the supposed car rental dealer, which, she would later find, to be non-existent. After Derry was done luring her with his act of making himself appear a rich man, on the days leading up to the trap to get her money, he told her that he was almost done buying all the antiques he needed and was now looking for a licensed person to ship the antiques. Reason being that he had to do it through another person because he had not yet registered his business.
According to the claims made in the blog post, he claimed to her to have tried talking to a few shipment dealers, but the deal did not go through due the high price which he did not want to pay. During this time, he told her that he had overstayed in Miri and had run out of clean clothes.
He also told her that he was getting tired of being there and just wanted to come back to KL and meet her. It was 1 May, when Derry fooled her to get her money. And he did it with the help of several actors and good background sound effects to make his story convincing, she claims in the blog post, adding that she would have never believed a romance scammer would go through that extent to make his story believable, until that day! He claimed to plan to fly back from Miri to KL the same day after doing his shipment of the antiques he bought and asked her to pick him up from KL Sentral around 7pm.
He then left for the shipping company in the morning to deal with his shipment. However, he later called to say he was having problems as the lady in charge required him to pay RM36, but he only had RM10, left on him. He claimed to her that he told the lady he would pay the RM10, now and then transfer the rest when he was in KL.