KUALA LUMPUR: Police suspect there could be more male victims of love scams than reported and they are not coming forward as many of them have families.
Bukit Aman commercial crime investigation department (CCID) director Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said statistics showed that women made up a majority of the 7,548 love scam victims recorded over the past five years.
He said that during the period, 6,251 women (83%) and 1,297 men (17%) fell victim to love scams, resulting in losses amounting to RM382 million.
“There are certain reasons why male victims are not coming forward,” said Ramli.
“Most of the women are single or single parents, but the men are rarely single… They usually have families.”
Ramli said that from January to June this year, the police recorded 471 love scams which resulted in RM22.1 million in losses.
“We expect the trend to decline compared to previous years due to the various awareness programmes we’ve held,” he said after launching a locally produced film about love scams.
He said the awareness programmes included interviews with local media, lectures and exhibitions in schools and universities, and meet-and-greet programmes with the public.
Separately, Ramli said the police had recorded 16 complaints of fraud in relation to the e-Tunai Belia Rahmah aid programme after the recipients attempted to cash out the RM200 credit they received.
He previously said syndicates were offering to transfer money from victims’ Touch ‘n Go e-wallets to their bank accounts.
The finance ministry recently noted several cases shared on social media of the programme’s recipients not hearing back from third parties after transferring their e-Tunai Belia Rahmah credit to be cashed out.