A 65-year-old woman was scammed of thousands of dollars in an international romance scam, after a man claimed to be an astronaut and asked her for a “landing fee” to return to earth, according to Kyodo News.
The bizarre incident happened in Japan.
The Japanese woman first met the scammer on Instagram claiming to be a Russian astronaut working on the International Space Station, according to the Shiga Prefectural Police’s Higashi-Omi Police Station’s news release on 7 October.
The two first met in June, before they continued messaging each other for months, with the fake astronaut telling her that he loved her and proposed to her.
He then told her that they could get married when he returned to earth, according to TV Asahi.
The fake astronaut then asked the woman for “landing fees”, citing “rocket expenses” to return to earth, and the victim then sent him about 4.4 million yen (about SGD$42.997) through 5 payments between August and September.
Unsatisfied, the scammer then continued asking her for money, before the woman then eventually reported it to the police.