Bank Staff Thwarts ‘American Soldier’ Scam

Photo by Anecdoteak via Wikimedia Commons

Banks have become wise to common scams that have afflicted Taiwan in recent years. One common scam has been foreign men preying on older single women online and convincing them to wire funds overseas. Taiwan has, however, stepped up effort to combat money laundering, which has extended to wire transfer fraud cases — it has signed anti-money laundering agreements with numerous nations, including the Vatican.

A middle-aged woman in Tainan surnamed Yang recently attempted to transfer money to her online boyfriend, but bank staff found the transaction to be suspicious and alerted police at 10 am on April 30. Yang told the bank staff, “I want to send euros to my American boyfriend in Italy so he can fly to Taiwan to meet me.”

Yang planned to send €3,000 (more than NT$103,000) to Italy to help her American boyfriend, whom she met on Facebook and claimed to be a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. The man, known as Andy Lee, said that he would use the money to fly to Taiwan to meet Yang.

Police managed to convince Yang that the request was a scam and she cancelled the wire transfer.

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