Tinder is a pretty good way to find new people to meet, and eventually find a new partner to be with in life (if these things actually happen to work for you). It's a different story, however, if you come to Tinder hoping for romance, but end up being catfished for money along the way.
This has been the fate of a number of Tinder hopefuls in Thailand, with scammers posing as pretty women and draining them of "millions of baht," in a rather sneaky deceit. The swindling took place some time between 2014 and 2016, affecting 30 men, according to a report by the Bangkok Post.
The scammers seem to be masquerading themselves as attractive flight attendants from Thai Airways. The swindlers were not hasty in asking their victims for money, as they reportedly built a relationship with the unsuspecting people first, garnering their trust to lessen any suspicions.
One of the men who claims to be among thevictims, shared that he connected with one of the "attendants" upon seeing the account on Tinder. He did not find anything suspicious at first, as the alleged woman on the other line kept sending him updated pictures. However, she refused whenever the man asked to meet up, saying that she was busy with flight duties overseas.
Eventually, she told him that she lost her credit card while in another country, and was now asking for a loan of 15,000 baht (around $435). Upon sending the requested money, the person on the other end started becoming distant, and ultimately broke the connection with him. This prompted him to tell his friends about the issue, and report it to the local authorities.
One of the air hostesses whose pictures were stolen, stated that she had already been charged with fraud, despite having no involvement whatsoever with the scheme. She stated the issue has already tarnished her reputation, and put her career at risk as she faces disciplinary action.
The police said an investigation regarding the romance scam has narrowed down the culprits to two men, one of whom is wanted under nine arrest warrants on charges of swindling and fraud. The scammers, according to the source, took the pictures of three air hostesses and changed their name in order to complicate police investigation.
Romance scams are nothing new, and it's understandable why people would easily fall for this- the power of love. But then again, it's best to remember that not everyone we meet on the internet are who they seem to be, and that many are out there to scam us out of our hard-earned money.