Online romance fraudsters are increasing pretending to be of different genders, the Yangpu District’s procuratorate revealed during a conference about romance fraud on Sunday.
Dating websites and online match-making sites are the main ways fraudsters connect with victims.
“Many love rats shelter behind the Internet to conceal their gender and defraud others,” deputy director of the procuratorate Gong Wenrong said. “Many male love seekers are cheated by men. Through the Internet, they can defraud many people at the same time.”
The figure and conclusion are based on statistics of the district procuratorate from June 2018 to today. The authority has handled 18 cases of romance scams, involving more than 13 million yuan (US$1.9 million), with 27 suspects sued.
“In the past, many women were cheated again and again over a long time,” Gong said. “But it is inefficient that the swindlers have to spend a large amount of time on establishing trust and relationship with the female, so now they prefer to defraud males over a short term.”
“Once succeeding in fraud, they will break contact with the victims,” she added.
In a case released by the procuratorate on Sunday, a woman surnamed Lin was cheated out of over 1.2 million yuan by a love rat last year. They met through a social media platform. Because of the handsome appearance and good career of the cheater, named Wang Liangyu, showed to Lin, she fell in love, although he refused to have an offline date.
During the relationship, Wang always showed off his high income and Lin was curious about the way he earned money. On Wang’s recommendation, Lin invested her money into a gambling platform.
If Lin wanted to quit, “the perfect boyfriend” would encourage her to keep investing. After spending over 1.2 million yuan, Wang disappeared.
The love cheat, who actually was a woman, was arrested quickly, as well as the other eight gang members.
The tricksters even had an eloquence training course.
It detailed how to talk to people with different personalities, what to find out during the first communication, and how to stimulate interest.
People from the fraud rings were imprisoned for between nine months and three-and-a-half years for running a gambling house and concealment.