She met her dream guy on Hinge, then got scammed out of $450,000


He appeared to her on the app like a breath of fresh air.

A wine trader from France, he’d moved to West Philly just a few years ago, he said. He had a killer smile and an even better body — he clearly spent a lot of time at the gym. His name was Ancel Mali. And shortly after they moved the conversation to WhatsApp, he deleted his Hinge profile. He said he wanted to focus on her.

So refreshing, Shreya Datta thought.

It was January and for months, Datta, a 37-year-old director at a multinational tech company in the Philly suburbs, had been on the apps. Every guy she met was talking to several women. She liked that Mali was so sure about her.

Later, she would see that as a red flag — along so many others. She would wonder how she could have been so fooled. “It’s like my psychology was hacked,” she’d say.

By then, she had lost $450,000.

Datta was a victim of a scam known as “pig butchering,” a loose translation of the Chinese name for the scheme, which is thought to have originated there. Con artists posing as someone else develop a relationship with victims and…

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