Monday, July 12, 2010

Beware the online con

Beware the online con
By SEREAN LAU and CHRISTINA TAN
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

Monday July 12, 2010


PETALING JAYA: It is important for women to check the background of a person they meet over Internet social networking websites to avoid being cheated.

“You need to check the background of the person to know whether the person is genuine or just a sweet talker. Whatever is posted by the man should be vetted thoroughly like calling up a company to see if he really works there,” said Wanita MCA Cupid Space project executor Peggy Lim (pic).

She also cautioned women not to rush into making a commitment.

“You need at least eight months to know a person. There is no need to rush into things,” she added.

“Feelings are a huge emotional trigger and for a woman, it is important to control these feelings when the courtship has only been going on for a short while.”

She said that among the reasons that women were scammed by online Casanovas was due to loneliness and desperation as they were afraid they would not be able to find a companion and accepted “any man who fancies them”

“The essential tools to sustain a relationship are patience and to earn the trust needed,” she said.

In June, a 47-year-old housewife said that she lost her savings and money she borrowed from her family and friends totalling RM1.2mil to a con man that she befriended on the Internet.

The man had claimed to be a Briton.

Meanwhile, MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong said he received complaints from 18 women on cheating scams with losses amounting to more than RM2.4mil since 2007.

He urged women to be wary of such con men.

Chong said the complaints that he received had a similar modus operandi – the men would get to know the women via Internet and send them expensive gifts before demanding for money.

Chong added that most of the victims were single mothers, divorcees and unmarried women.

“The con men also introduced themselves as businessmen, sons of senior politicians and professionals like engineers,” he said.

Chong said he believed the men involved in the scam were foreigners although some may have had the help of locals.

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