A 42-year-old Hong Kong woman has apparently been bilked out of HK$14 million (US$1.78 million) during an eight-year online relationship with a man she never met in person.

The woman, who works in a financial institution, says she got to know a foreigner, who claimed to be a Briton of some importance, on the online dating website Match.com in August 2010, Apple Daily reported.

Three months later, the man told her that he was being detained in Malaysia after carrying £300,000 in cash into the country, and asked her to transfer HK$10,000 for an “administration fee” to free him.

From then on, the man used various reasons to trick the woman into transferring money to him, ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to a hundred thousand.

Over the past eight years, the woman and the man communicated via e-mail and WhatsApp, and she never met him in person. However, she still believed in him and transferred a total of HK$14 million to him in 200 transactions.

This March, the man again asked for money, but she could no longer spare any. She turned to her family for help, but they alerted her that she might have been cheated.

The woman reported the case to Hong Kong police on April 12.

After an investigation, police concluded that the woman had been cheated by an online love scammer, Oriental Daily reported.

Police were checking with Malaysian counterparts, as the woman had transferred money to a Malaysian bank account.

Read: Two women nabbed for duping woman in HK$40K ‘love scam’