Scams have been around for as long as we can remember, and they’re still pretty rampant to this day. Just recently, Zahid Hamidi’s telegram and whatsapp accounts were hacked by scammers who asked people to deposit RM5000 into “his account”. However, many of these scams, such as the classic love scam, have evolved into something bigger, more realistic, and possibly even dangerous.
This was the case with a friend of our editor’s (we’ll be referring to him as No-meo), who reached out to us to share his own experiences with an insane love scam in Singapore that involved cryptocurrency, dating apps, and even threats to his safety.
It all started with a 7-day quarantine, and a dating app.
No-meo was on a work-trip in Singapore for about a month in late 2021, where he had to undergo the mandatory quarantine for a week; during which, he spent his time working, watching TV, and playing around… with dating apps.
And out of boredom and curiosity, No-meo decided to install a dating app called “Hinge”, which might be unfamiliar to you if you’re Malaysian since the app isn’t available here. And in the midst of his scrolling, he came across the profile of this girl named Hazel, and they matched.
At first, Hazel was very engaging in the conversations that she had with No-meo. They would often check-in on each other throughout the day by sharing their daily activities, lunches, and basically having the whole ✨couple experience✨.
And after about a week of chatting, they arranged to meet up for coffee and…
He found out that she was REAL (and really rich).
While they were chatting, Hazel had a tendency to send pictures that… in nicer terms, showcased her wealth; from her extensive collection of wines and stacks of money, to sending her BMW for servicing, she gave No-meo daily glimpses into her fabulously boujee life.
At first, No-meo thought that this girl might end up being a catfish since she seemed too good to be true. So, when they did arrange to meet up for coffee, he braced himself to be met by some random stranger… but as it turns out, Hazel was REAL. And so was her BMW.
It all checked out! And of course, our story’s protagonist just had to know his love interest’s
tragic anime backstory. As according to her, she was involved in investments and trading, namely something called Margin Trading. But instead of trading with stocks, she dealt with cryptocurrency.
“She told me that she came from an accounting background and her father also owned a trading company after his old business went bankrupt, so she would help her father with the business.” – No-Meo
That was when she began to ask him about whether he was involved in investments and trading, in addition to asking him if he would be interested in learning more about this sorta thing.
Now, here’s where things start to get interesting…
She wanted him to be rich too (best non-gf ever).
They say that good things are meant to be shared, and in Hazel’s case, that probably meant sharing her ‘financial secrets’ with No-Meo, which was exactly what she did when she propositioned for him to join her in investing in cryptocurrency through this broker/trading app called ‘AvaTrade‘.
And since No-Meo had previously heard of AvaTrade, he agreed. However, instead of asking him to download the app directly through the app store, she sent him a link through Whatsapp. This was because, according to her, she would be able get some kind of referral benefit if he downloaded it through the link.
Now, while all of this was going down, No-Meo started realizing that something was pretty SUS about this whole situation. So, he went to check out the app store and found that…
Some things didn’t seem to match up.
When No-Meo went to check out the app store, it showed that the AvaTrade app was not downloaded. But then again, he was bored, so he signed up for an account on the app using an old driving license and started by putting in around 300 USD (around RM1.2k). Unsurprisingly, the account that he made and the money he put in did not even exist in the official AvaTrade app.
Anyways, over the next few days, Hazel started giving No-Meo pointers on what to buy-and-sell, as the 300 USD in his account had grown to 500 USD (around RM2k). Then, he tried to cash it out and to his surprise, he was actually able to cash out his earnings from the app!
So at this point, No-Meo was kinda convinced that this was most probably some type of scheme that just required his “participation”, and that he would still be able to gain something from this. *cough priorities cough* So, he did the thing that made the most sense and that was to keep 500 USD plus his earnings in his account. (duh.)
Furthermore, his “relationship” with Hazel was now stronger than ever- in addition to their daily chats, she was now also acting as his financial partner as the amount in his account continued to grow. And around 3 weeks in, she made him an offer that seemed too good to refuse…
She promised him a guaranteed return.
Hazel told No-Meo about this ‘initiative’ that the platform would be having as a way to “reward” the traders, where if they were to deposit a large amount of money into their account, they would stand to earn 4 to 5 times of their ‘coins’ back at no cost. So, she propositioned for him to open a Singaporean bank account to put in 100k USD into his account, and that she would help to “add-on” the rest.
“She assured me that she had done this before and had benefitted from it, and said that she “just wanted to help me”. So, she asked me how much I was willing to put into the account and she offered to ‘top-up’ the rest. ” – No-Meo.
Now, No-Meo knew at this point that all of this seemed too good to be legit. But since he was going to leave the country shortly, he agreed to it anyway, because he wanted to see just how far the scam would go. And within the next few days, his account was locked- which meant that he couldn’t withdraw any of his money, and had to wait for at least 21 days past the event’s start date, when the event was over.
As the days passed, he started seeing Hazel “deposit” 10k USD every single day into his account as she had promised. But No-Meo figured that since the whole app might be bogus, the numbers in his account might have been tampered with as well. And so, he began to delay the opening of his Singaporean bank account, for at least until the event was over.
“At first, she was still quite patient. But after a few days of delays, she began to ask me more frequently about when I would be opening the bank account. I kept saying I was busy, and even took a picture of the crowd outside of a bank that I was close to. And suddenly, it was like something changed within her…” – No-Meo
After his constant delays, No-Meo noted that the way she talked to him had changed. She began to accuse him of delaying the deposit on purpose to steal the money that she had put into his account, and before he knew it…
Her ‘sweet-talk’ turned into THREATS.
Through his text exchanges with Hazel, No-Meo could tell that the person who he was talking to was most likely not even Hazel herself, but someone else entirely.
“The texting style was different, and the tone of voice “she” used was completely different. I kind of knew that the person I was talking to was most likely not even Hazel… if Hazel even existed.” – No-Meo
“Hazel” then began to demand for No-Meo to meet her in person. She also threatened to call the police, and when he agreed, she even told him that he had to meet her or else “he would know what sadness is”. Yikes. 😬
And so, he asked her if that was a threat (since it sure as heck sounds like one), to which she replied:
Now, we don’t know why she was so insistent on meeting him in-person, but at this point, No-Meo was already back in Malaysia.
And though her threats were concerning at first, he knew that they were empty threats as he hadn’t shared enough information with her in the first place– even the address on his old driving license was outdated. Though, he does suspect that he might have been in physical danger if he had agreed to meet her in real life.
Shortly after the threats, he blocked Hazel’s number and tried to report the entire incident to the Singaporean police, but felt that it was too much of a hassle since he was in Malaysia, and dropped it. However, since the incident, he’s gotten spam calls and messages from Singaporean numbers, which he suspects that his number must have been sold to these third-party spammers.
Anyways, he then tried to check out his account on the app- but lo and behold, the entire account was completely gone and his 500 USD with it. This was shortly followed by the app, and eventually he wasn’t able to find Hazel’s dating profile on Hinge anymore.
Oh! He did manage to find “Hazel” on Tinder though… but this time, as “Linda”.
old young leopard never changes its spots. *sigh*
He lost RM2k, but gained a great story to tell at parties.
Of course, we could go down the cliché route and give you advice on how you should be careful with meeting people on dating apps. But we asked No-Meo about whether he felt any regret about this whole experience he went through, to which he replied:
“Nope.” – No-Meo.
Cause if you think about it, No-Meo didn’t lose 500 USD- he paid 500 USD and got the whole ‘girlfriend experience’ plus an immersive romance-action drama in-one; a hot girl, flashy cars, dramatic twists, crime, and betrayal. Still so much cheaper than getting a sugar baby. Not to mention, it’s also a great story that No-Meo could probably tell to some girl at a party, so it was still a win in the end?? We think??
But of course, this was only cause he was aware that he was getting scammed la. So, unless you’re willing to burn your money in the process, don’t just simply give your money to someone you met online. Instead, why not spend it on CILISOS advertorials? At least we can guarantee you a spicy article with your face on it, and who knows? It might just earn you your next right-swipe. 😏