There is also the category of influencer scams – where individuals who have quite a bit of fan following on social media advise people to invest in schemes that can deliver very high returns. But sometimes, we also come across scams that do not make any sense at all. The entire episode has scam written over it, and yet, people fail to spot it.
The ‘Russian astronaut’ Romance scam
According to the reports in the local media, the 65-year-old unnamed victim first made contact with the scammer on Instagram, where the latter had uploaded a few pictures of space. Claiming to be working at the ISS, the scammer said he had limited access to cell service.
The conversation quickly moved to a Japanese messaging app, LINE, where the scammer made multiple confessions of his love for the woman and how he intended to start a new life with her in Japan. There was only one problem; he needed to return back to Earth first.
To do so, the astronaut needed some money and also explained the various heads of expenditure he had before the two could be united. These included some bizarre claims like landing fees in Japan and the cost of the rocket to fly to the country.
Unsuspecting, the woman transferred a sum of 4.4 million yen (US$30,000) towards these expenses in five installments over a period of lesser than a month. However, when the astronaut continued to ask for more money, the woman reported the matter to the local police, who are now investigating the case.