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His online banking wouldn’t work and he needed to pay suppliers immediately for equipment already delivered.Our banal chats dragged on for weeks, and I began to think he was for real. “They use their time wisely, to create a relationship of trust.” The international nature of cybercrime means scammers can operate from anywhere.In a joint operation in December 2016, police from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Nigeria busted a syndicate that had swindled 73 Hong Kong women out of HK million.Typically this involves asking a victim to send a small amount of money to buy food, pay for daily living expenses, internet access, hiring a private room with a webcam or numerous other variations on the above.Filipino scammers may also ask you to send money for plane tickets, visa fees, marriage annulment fees or other travel related expenses. In one variation a Filipino asks you to send money so that she can purchase a webcam for an online video chat with you.Contact my bank because they want to meet my girlfriend who I am asking to do a transfer on my behalf.” Lazard, Jackson observes, ceased operating as a commercial bank in 1933, but that didn’t stop Dr John’s branch emailing impressive paperwork, which bore a striking resemblance to Lloyd’s Bank literature. But I am really not impressed at the way you have handled this. Perhaps it was easier for me to deposit the cash into a local Hong Kong bank account. When contacted, Lovestruck said Dr John had passed their checks with his Facebook, Twitter and Linked In accounts.His banker requested “government issued identification” and Dr John was impatient: “Why so slow and reluctant? It was in a female Chinese name, probably a mule or another scam victim. “Don’t go to the bank to give that honest explanation. Lovestruck said they reported his fake profiles, but at the time of writing, he remained there, big and bold, on Facebook. These sites claim they do all the checks, but the reality is they have few staff and operate with impunity.In January and February this year, fraudsters netted HK million from 24 female lonely hearts victims, according to the latest figures from the city’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB).This compares with 114 local cases of internet dating fraud in 2016, with losses of HK million for the whole year.You’re a single lady looking for love, so what’s not to like about Dr John – username “Hunk Jon”.His profile photos and “verified” Facebook, Linked In and Twitter credentials portray a respectable, clean-cut chap. That’s because, in reality, hunky Dr John is a cynical West African romance scammer.