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Scams and swindles

Can dating apps really be a ticket to love in Hong Kong?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 11:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2018, 11:02pm

I refer to your article, “Gift exchanges the latest ruse for online love scams” (July 28). Singles in Hong Kong are increasingly looking for love online, using apps in the hope of meeting their future partner. However, in their search for a soul mate, these lonely hearts are also inviting the risk of being swindled out of their life savings by con artists.

In the first three months of 2018 alone, internet swindlers duped 199 Hongkongers out of HK$76 million, and one financial professional become the victim of an elaborate eight-year online romance scam which left her poorer by HK$14 million.

It is important that lonely hearts looking for love online beware of these traps. But, more importantly, it makes me question whether this is really an appropriate way to find love.

It is a shallow idea that people can just find a partner on the internet or on mobile apps. Most people using such apps or websites are longing for love; they might be in a hurry to find a partner as they feel they are getting old or just dislike being single. But is “love” that easy to get off the net?

Modern love in Hong Kong: speed dating and ‘leftover women’

Love needs time to develop. It is difficult to find a stranger online and have them become your boyfriend or girlfriend on the first face-to-face meeting. Love should happen through gradual interaction and working on the relationship after meeting up often, communicating and showing you care.

I am sceptical about the love to be found by using these apps. It can also be dangerous, both emotionally and financially, as those duped are finding out only too late.

Patrick Leung, Sai Kung