December 7, 2022

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Elderly Japanese woman loses BRL 160,000 to scammer pretending to be a Russian cosmonaut who needed help returning to Earth | the world

A 65-year-old Japanese woman decided to go to the police after a Russian cosmonaut contacted her asking for money. Before suspecting fraud, the woman gave the scammer 4.4 million yen (about R$160,000), saying he loved her and needed financial help to return to Earth.

According to the “Yomiuri Shimbun” newspaper, the woman met the “astronaut” through Instagram in June. On the profile of the scammer, you can see several photos of the place. In the exchange, the man said he works on the International Space Station, where astronauts have limited access to cell phone service.

On the Japanese messaging app LINE, the scammer repeatedly claimed to love the victim and proposed. “I want to start my life Japan,” he said in a news release, according to TV station Asahi. “A thousand times is not enough, but I will keep saying it. I love you.”

However, in order for the two to get married, the “astronaut” had to return to Earth – and that’s when the demands for money began. Believing it necessary to avoid her fiance’s return trip, the woman paid an estimated ¥4.4 million in five installments from August 19 to September 5.

However, as demands for money continued, the woman became suspicious and decided to contact the police. Now, officials from Shiga Prefecture’s Higashiomi Police Station are investigating the case.

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