Two women with South Asian origin were arrested in Hong Kong on Monday for allegedly cheating a local woman of nearly HK$40,000 in a love scam.

The 28-year-old victim surnamed Chan said she had been in touch with a man on Facebook who had claimed he would send her “an expensive gift”, even though they had yet to meet in person and knew each other online for less than two weeks, news website HK01.com reported.

The man later said that customs officers in a South American country seized the gift and asked for several thousand dollars as a clearance fee.

On May 8, Chan transferred HK$38,800 (US$4,942) to a bank account but was asked to pay more for transport.

Chan became suspicious and realized she had probably been conned before filing a report to Kowloon City Police Station.

The police Anti-Deception Coordination Center informed the bank of the suspected fraud.

At 10am on Tuesday, a 48-year-old woman was apprehended by police when she went to a bank on Sha Tsui Road in Tsuen Wan, the New Territories to withdraw the money.

And at 9pm on the same day police arrested a 43-year-old woman in Hung Hom in Kowloon.

The two suspects, who are South Asian but hold Hong Kong identity cards, are good friends. They were arrested for allegedly obtaining property by deception.

Police are investigating their roles in the fraud case and did not rule out the possibility that the women pretended to be a man to cheat the woman.