There has been an increasing number of people claiming to be from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who are trying to scam people on social media websites, including dating sites. The trend that I have noticed involves scammers having pictures of attractive women who are in their 20s and 30s in fashionable clothes. I believe this is to lure the potential victim to "like" the photo so that the victim can potentially match the scammer.

Once the match has been made, the two can then send messages to one another. After exchanging emails for a day or two, the scammer always asks to connect with the potential victim on Line or another app where the scammer can start sending photos.

The conversions usually start off with general questions related to hobbies, jobs and what we're doing on that particular day. The scammers are really clever and usually take their time to make contact with the potential victims to make them feel comfortable. After some time, the scammers usually bring up the topic of investing. They usually have some screenshots of an investment that's doing really well in the market. They will try to get the victim to invest as little as ¥1,000 via credit card, ATM/convenient store payment or PayPal.

They are very persistent and will use various tactics to get the potential victim to invest in a market in China or Hong Kong. I believe this should be published to make people aware of what's happening on these websites and apps. I have checked news in English related to this and unfortunately, some have fallen victim to the scammers. Some who said they have tried to get their money out of the investment had no luck.

I hope this can make people more aware of what's happening in social media. Due to the coronavirus, more people are staying home and have been using the dating websites as a source of entertainment.

Andy Richmond


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.