Man claiming to be a ‘Russian astronaut’ scammed woman out of R540k #nigeria | #nigeriascams | #lovescams

He supposedly needed money for Earth landing fees…

Astronaut in outer space/Pexels

Scam artists are at every turn these days.

One thing is for certain, they will say and do anything to get money out of you. 

In this case it was a man who claimed to be a Russian astronaut. That is literally far out!

“The man told the woman, who lives in Higashiomi City, that he loved her and wanted to marry her, but in order to return from space and meet her in Japan, he needed her to send him money to pay for landing fees.” (MSN)

Read more: Suspected scamster appears in court for R18m fraud

The 65-year-old woman had met the scamster on Instagram. He told her that he worked on the International Space Station. 

After chatting back and forth for some time, he expressed his love for her and told her that he wanted to start a life together in Japan. 

This was a clear example of a romance scam and sadly the woman has lost millions of yen due to lies and deceit. 

“Paul Bischoff, an editor and scam expert at Comparitech, told Newsweek, ““Romance scams use emotional manipulation to trick victims into sending money or performing some other illegal activity. They usually begin online, either through a dating app or social media.” (MSN)

Read more: Women in KZN scammed by man for over R100k after promising them marriage

Bischoff went on to say that romance scammers often claim to have a sort of job that keeps them from meeting the person they are scamming in person. Examples include: soldier, doctor in a war zone, or as mentioned in this case, an astronaut. 

He particularly used the term “love bombing”, saying that the scammer showers the victim with praise and affection in an effort to gain trust.

Then comes the crux.

Once a situation of adornment is created, the scammer then brings up an emergency expense. 

Sadly, the victim who believes their story acts out of a false state of infatuation and gives them the money. 

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The woman, who gave him 4.4-million yen ($30,000), precisely R542,697 at the time of this article, because he said he needed Earth landing fees, became suspicious when the man asked for more money. 

It was at this time that she contacted the police and reported the case. 

Bischoff offered some sound advice when it comes to spotting a romance scam: 

  • “Never send money to someone whom you have never met in real life. 
  • Research the people whom you are interested in on dating apps. 
  • Run a reverse image lookup on their profile images to see if they’ve been lifted from someone else’s profile. 
  • If someone seems overly enthusiastic about a prospective relationship, be skeptical. 
  • If you feel rushed to send money or hand over private information, take a moment to consider that you might be getting scammed.” (MSN)
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