$5.8m given to online Romeos

Last week, annual police statistics released indicated that Singapore's overall crime rate hit a 30-year low last year.

But online cheating cases that include Internet love scams went up.

Such scams first appeared in Singapore in 2008, with seven reported cases. There were 81 cases last year, up from 50 cases in 2012. Victims handed over $5.8 million, up from $1.18 million in 2012.

One 74-year-old victim lost $1 million after being duped into making a string of payments. Past cases of love scams

JUNE 2013

Sixty foreigners who were involved in an elaborate love scam were arrested in Malaysia. They included 49 Nigerians.

Their modus operandi was to court women through social media and promise to send them pricey gifts. Then they would say the items had been seized by customs and needed money to release them.

SEPTEMBER 2012

Nigerian Akibon Michael Mayokun, 33, was arrested in Malaysia over allegations that he swindled a Singaporean woman after romancing her online.

He claimed trial and was acquitted after the prosecution offered no more evidence.

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