A vigilant bank manager in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, successfully kept a Filipino woman from sending US$1,250 to a foreign account after the manager suspected the young woman had fallen victim to a syndicate running online romance scams.
The Filipino, a woman in her 20s, visited a branch of King’s Town Bank in Sanmin district of Kaohsiung City to transfer US$1,250 to a Turkish account, The Real Daily reported, citing a government release published on Monday.
The female bank manager, finding the request suspicious because the amount was quite significant for a migrant worker – equivalent to about two months’ wages – asked the young woman what it was intended for before proceeding. She also called for police assistance.
The Filipina told the bank and two officers from Sanmin Second Precinct of Kaohsiung City Government Police Bureau that she had fallen in love with an American soldier through an online app, and the man had said he would like to fly to Taiwan to meet her.
She was instructed to transfer money to an account from which he could get the funds to pay for airfare.
Since the Filipino woman could not speak Mandarin, she initially did not understand why the bank would not help with the remittance. But once the officers had communicated with her in English, she understood that they had recognized the typical modus operandi of a syndicate specializing in online romance scams.
The young woman in the end decided not to transfer the funds.