Japanese Woman Cheated Out Of RM141,553 By Russian Lover Who Claimed He Was In Outer Space

The fraudster expressed his intentions to marry the woman but could not do so as he claimed he was stuck on the International Space Station (ISS).

Cover image via Picjumbo & NASA

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A 65-year-old Japanese woman was allegedly conned out of millions of yen when she sent the money to her online lover who claimed to be a Russian cosmonaut

According to NextShark, the two 'star-crossed' lovers reportedly met on 28 June on Instagram, where both individuals would correspond with each other.

The fraudster claimed to be working at the International Space Station (ISS) in Russia and had expressed his interest in marrying the elderly Japanese woman, but claimed he couldn't because he did not have enough money to leave the ISS.

Image via AgingCare

The con artist had allegedly made sweet promises to the victim, including saying that he wanted to start a new life in Japan with her

He tried to woo the victim by telling her romantic things like, "I want to start my life in Japan" and "Even if I say it 1,000 times and it won't get across, I will keep saying it. I love you."

Smitten by his words, the victim was manipulated into sending over large amounts of cash to the fraudster after he said that he needed the money to cover the cost of landing the rocket back to Earth to be with her.

The victim allegedly made five transactions amounting to JPY4.4 million (RM141,553) between 19 August and 5 September. 

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via The Straits Times

Even after sending so much money to him, the con artist continued to pressure the victim to send him more money

Due to his persistent requests for money, the victim began to be suspicious of her 'lover' and finally decided to lodge a police report.

According to Japanese news outlet Yomiuri Shimbun, the victim reported that she believed the con artist's lies because he had name-dropped established government institutions such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Police have notified the public of such scams and advised people to look out for tell-tale signs of a scammer. 

In this case, police reported that the conman had incorrectly described the ISS as a commercial airport where one needs to purchase tickets to get in and out. The suspect also mentioned that he experienced poor cellular service on the ISS but in reality, the ISS does not have cellular service at all.

A public service announcement image about online love scams by the Scam Alert Singapore.

Image via Scam Alert

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Earlier this year, this scammer got their just desserts when this teacher flipped the switch and tried to scam them instead: