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BREAKING HEARTS AND BANK ACCOUNTS

Social network stalkers are no joke. And the outcome may not be as trivial as you think.

Going by the recent spate of cases, it seems that many women have fallen victim to online love scams.

LOVE SCAMS UP

It was revealed in Parliament in March that Internet love scams rose by over 60 per cent. There were about 80 reported cases last year.

Online Romeos broke not only their victims' hearts but also their bank accounts - to the tune of more than $5 million in 2013, five times the amount in 2012.

MORE 'ANG MOS'

More of these conmen are claiming to be American or British.

This was verified by officials from the Embassy of the United States in an April newspaper report. They reported seeing a "sudden spike in cases of Singaporeans being scammed of their money by people claiming to be Americans who they met online", the report said.

Women victims were chosen from online dating sites or social networks.

Eventually, the conmen would ask the victims to transfer money. Victims who were tricked last year were aged between 19 and 74.


"BRITISH" ACCENT

In 2011, a widow was conned of $1 million in an Internet love scam.

She thought that the man with a British accent, who had called after hearing of her husband's death in 2010, was his business partner.

Over a year, he asked her for money often.

By the time she realised in late 2011 that she was being fleeced, it was too late.