Scammers learn 'language of love'

KUALA LUMPUR - Syndicates are using well-written letters in order to charm the socks off their victims in what is known as love scams, said Bukit Aman Cyber Crimes and Multimedia division investigator Asst Supt Mohd Syafiq Jinuin Abdullah.

According to ASP Mohd Syafiq, who specialises in parcel scam cases, seizure of syndicate materials have shown that "training modules" were used by the scamsters.

"The books contained the names, occupations and ages of victims whom they were engaging on various social networks.

"We also found handwritten scripts in these books which shows how adept they are at sweet-talking their victims," said ASP Mohd Syafiq in an interview.

He explained that parcel scams originated from the "419 scam" in Nigeria a type of fraud with many variations including the advance-fee fraud and black money scam.

The number 419 refers to an article under the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud. The scammer selects his target and woos victims for weeks or months.

As a token of their love, the scammer would tell the victim that he or she has sent parcels with expensive items inside, either jewellery or large amounts of cash. However, before the package arrives, a bogus customs officer or courier agent would call the victim saying that the package was detained by Customs, and payment was required for its release.

Some scammers would claim they had arrived in Malaysia to marry the victim, but had been detained by authorities and can only be released if certain fees were paid.

Once the money is paid, the scammer would cease all contact with the victim and disappear.