Keelung City Police Bureau, Nuannuan District, Keelung City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A single Taiwanese woman in her 50s realized that she had fallen victim to a romance scammer and had lost more than NT$3 million (US$99,000) that was allegedly used for investment after hearing and reading evidence from a Taiwanese police deputy chief.

At 11am on Wednesday, the Keelung City Police Bureau received an alert from a Keelung First Credit branch, saying a woman who was trying to remit NT$1 million to an overseas account might have fallen victim to an online scammer, China Daily News reported on Friday.  

Police officers arrived at the scene and, aided by her relatives speaking to her by phone, persuaded the woman to put the remittance on hold.

At around 5pm, a member of the woman’s family sought police assistance after an unidentified man of African origin appeared and attempted to collect NT$1 million in cash from the woman.

The woman at first refused police assistance, insisting that her lover Nicolas, a man who claimed to be an American of Dubai descent, whom she had met via an online dating app several months ago had been in genuine financial need, Pacific Daily reported.

Both the woman and the man, actually a Liberian, were taken to the police station, where the deputy police chief provided evidence that her lover had been showing affection to single women in an attempt to cheat money out of them before disappearing.

The Liberian was detained by the police. He had reportedly entered Taiwan on a travel permit and insisted that he was only intending to pick up some money on behalf of a friend.