At this point everyone knows better than to respond to the emails from “Nigerian princes” asking for “loans”, as those cons are yesterday’s news. Since then, scammers have had to upgrade to newer scams. One that has come to light is “out of this world”.
In Japan, a 65-year-old woman was swindled out of around $30,000 or 4.4 million yen between August 19 and September 5, by a man claiming to be a Russian cosmonaut.
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Kyoto News reports that the woman, who lives in the Shiga Prefecture, got connected to the scammer on a social media website before they started communicating on Line messaging app.
The person, as per police, professed his love for the woman and even proposed marriage multiple times.
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He then started asking her for expenses for a rocket for coming back to Earth from space. She transferred around $30,000 to the man’s bank account, but when he kept demanding more money she contacted the police.
As per MSN, the man’s profile on the social media site Instagram was full of photos of space and he claimed to be a cosmonaut on the International Space Station.
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Police are now investigating him for a “romance scam”. These cons are actually very common these days. Fraudsters connect with their targets over social media, get close, and trick them into believing lies about love and relationships before finally swindling money from them.
During the pandemic, these scams skyrocketed as people turned to social media in the absence of social interactions.
(With inputs from agencies)
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