KUALA LUMPUR - A 53-year-old divorcee sent a nude photograph of herself to her new date in the name of love. Little did she know that she had fallen prey to an online dating scam until the "lover" blackmailed her using the picture.
"He told me he will display my nude photo unless I pay him US$5,000 (S$6,200)," said the single mother who only wished to be known as Chew.
She was introduced early last month to a social dating website where some of her friends found their Mr Right, she told a press conference arranged by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong yesterday.
Soon, the sales executive befriended a 54-year-old Benjamin Federico, who claimed to be a veterinarian residing in Canada.
After some happy chats online, the man told her he had savings of US$174,000 and that he planned to meet her here in August and bring her back to his country where they would get married.
Overwhelmed by his proposal, Chew sent him a nude picture of herself at his request some two weeks ago.
"But he declined to give me his nude photo, saying that it was against his religion and family values," she said.
Feeling uncomfortable with his response, Chew suspected something amiss and decided to call off the relationship last Saturday.
She did not know that was just the beginning of her nightmare.
"He started blackmailing me using the picture. Also, he demanded that I compensate him for breaking up with him," Chew said.
With help from Chong, she lodged a report with Ampang Jaya police on Monday night.
She also complained to the dating site, which has since removed Federico's profile.
Chong said he was frustrated with the naivete of people who become victims of such a scam despite frequent advice from him.