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Losing VND 200 million because of being scammed through a dating app

**Scammers have taken advantage of the trust, even the feelings of the victim, to appropriate property.** Ms. HH (Can Tho) reported that she lost more than 200 million VND after believing a word. acquaintances through dating apps. Not only Ms. H., there are now dozens of victims who have lost from a few tens of millions to more than 3 billion dong because of similar scams who are gathering together on social networks to find ways to deal with damage and track down crook. “They cheated so much, I didn’t even know they were being cheated,” said Mrs. H. sadly. ## Many victims fall into the trap The form of fraud is specifically narrated by Ms. H. to *Knowledge Online*. Accordingly, the scammer will text to get acquainted, flirt and even buy gifts and food for the victims for a period of time ranging from a week to 3 months. Once the victim’s trust is gained, this person will introduce that he is working as an information technology (IT) employee for a trading platform similar to foreign exchange (forex) exchanges and has discovered a profitable hole on this exchange. This person will then send a link to this exchange and ask the victim to place a buy and sell order on their own account. Buy and sell orders follow the instructions of the scammer to earn profits ranging from 20-30% per transaction. “That friend told me that he was at the company, so he couldn’t access the exchange via the internal network, so he asked me to manipulate the transactions and will share 5% of the profit. When I logged into my account, I saw more than 50 million VND in the form of cryptocurrency, after a few transactions the amount was profitable and doubled, this person also took a screenshot to withdraw money to his account, making me more confident”, said Ms. H.. After many profitable trades, this person will advise the victim to create an account so that he can make money based on the error of the exchange. If the victim is gullible, creating an account is the first step in their trap. Next, people like Ms. H were instructed to continue trading buy and sell orders according to the words of “acquaintances” but on the newly created account. In the first transaction, the amount of money the victim pays and the promised profit is usually not too high to build trust. The scammer also allows the victim to enter withdrawal orders to a real bank account. “At first, I deposited 100 USD, after the first transaction I tried to withdraw 10 USD and saw that the money was actually withdrawn to my bank account,” said Ms. H. Once they have gained trust, the scammers will “load” into their accounts large amounts of up to hundreds of millions of dong as well as encourage victims to deposit large amounts of money themselves for better profits. However, the additional balance is virtual, can be easily changed, in fact they do not make a real deposit for the victim. After a few transactions, usually up to the third transaction, they will advise the victim to “send overnight interest” for profit instead of withdrawing money to a bank account. At this point, if the victim leaves money in the account and continues to transact, this person will be urged to deposit more money. If the victim wants to withdraw the money, they will have to deposit an additional 50-100% of the available money in the account and 22% “tax money”. “For example, if I want to withdraw 62 million VND from my ‘transaction account’ to the bank, I have to transfer exactly 62 million VND and be promised that after the verification process I will receive the full 124 million VND, not to mention the money. tax”, Ms. H. recounted. To increase pressure on victims, these people will warn that if they do not continue to deposit verification and tax payments, the account will be locked and all deposited funds will be lost. At this time, even if the victim pays the full amount of verification, he will lose money, but if he does not pay, he will also lose money. “When I saw that the operation was too complicated and the amount was more than I could rotate, that was when I realized that I had been cheated. I had to lose all my savings because the more I tried to get the money back, the more I tried to get it back. I will lose more and more when I load it up,” said Ms. H.. Similarly, Ms. T. (Hanoi) is also a victim of this scam with a loss of more than 22,000 USD. The scammer took advantage of the trust after a period of talking with the victim and asked the victim to invest in the vulnerability to make a profit. After the “for overnight interest” example, Ms. T. also fell into the situation of not being able to withdraw money and was constantly asked to pay “account premium”. ## New bottle of old wine “This is an old type of scam, most of the victims involved in this type are often cheated with a very large amount of money. In some cases I know, the victim has been scammed and lost more than 10 billion VND. Recently, a case was also scammed up to more than 3 billion dong,” said Ngo Minh Hieu (Hieu PC), founder of the Anti-fraud project. Mr. Hieu said this form of fraud is quite easy to recognize. First, the subjects will approach the victim through dating applications or social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp or Tinder. Next, they enter into affection, trust and lure for a while to create trust and build a relationship with the victim. When trust is “mature” enough and well understood about the victim’s finances and life, depending on the victim’s personality, these people will have different scenarios. The scenario is usually the object that will guide the “prey” of financial investment forex or virtual currency exchanges. These people will act as the person with the victim as an investor, but in fact they play one or more other roles besides being a manager or “teacher of orders”. According to Mr. Hieu, most of the victims fall into the trap because they find it too easy to earn. After a few wins and withdrawals to the bank account, it is easy for the victim to follow the scammer, depositing more money to earn more profits. “The victim and the scammer are often closer now than ever. Many people have talked nightly with the scammer, in some cases even sending sensitive pictures, recording videos or calling each other. However, these guys all use fake pictures and information to hide their real identity,” Mr. Hieu added. This expert said that when the amount appropriated is large, the scammers will let the victim “burn” the account, lock the account or notify to pay taxes and fees to be able to withdraw money and verify the account. They will make up a lot of reasons to make the victim deposit money in order to get back the money that is being held in the virtual investment account. Even, there are many victims who still trust and sometimes even feel sympathy for the scammer because they think both are participating in the same account. Some scammers are even more sophisticated and hit the mark by voluntarily contributing 50% of the deposit to an investment account to help the victim solve the problems and possibly withdraw the money. The amount in the investment account is virtual money but many victims do not realize and think the balance displayed in the account is “real money” because if they deposit or withdraw money, the balance will fluctuate. In essence, all numbers and investment platforms are manipulated by scammers. In terms of methods, the scams via dating apps that have appeared in recent times are similar to the scams of online collaborators that have flourished before. Still the exchanges, fake e-commerce floors are set up to lure users with a virtual balance that can be easily edited, just different in the approach. Instead of doing a simple money-making task, the subjects staged the victim’s feeling of becoming an investor who grasped the vulnerabilities of the exchange, claiming that it was easy to get rich quick.



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