Millions lost in love scams

World | Agence France-Presse 18 Jul 2019

Taiwan urged China and Hong Kong to work together to investigate a spate of financial love scams that have caused over US$30 million (HK$234 million) in losses to Taiwanese targets.

Fighting this new type of cross-border fraud will require the cooperation of all three administrations, and sits in contrast to recent tensions over Beijing's desire for closer political links.

Suspects used social media to start romantic relationships with victims in Taiwan, and then coaxed them to invest in fake financial companies.

Over 500 local people have been swindled since last January, including one victim who lost US$2 million.

Targets were encouraged to wire money to Hong Kong-based bank accounts - opened by Hong Kongers or mainland Chinese - on the understanding it would be invested in stocks, foreign currencies, gold or futures.

Taiwan and China in 2009 signed a joint crime-fighting and judicial assistance agreement, under the oversight of the former Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government.

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