Former K-pop idol Mina from girl group AOA has claimed she was scammed while working in a chatroom for lonely men.
In an interview with South Korea media outlet Channel A News on Monday, the 29-year-old singer-actress said she lost 15 million Korean won (RM51,000) after she started working on Feb 6 at what was promised to be a well-paying job.
“I searched for work-from-home jobs and a part-time ‘chatting’ job popped up. So I thought it was just talking to people. If a guy opens a chatroom, the girl would enter that room and just talk with him,” she said in the interview.
She received chatroom coins in return for chats and reportedly made eight million Korean won worth of coins in a day.
When she attempted to exchange the coins with the company, however, it requested that she sent in funds to facilitate the exchange.
Worried that she would lose her coins if she did not comply, Mina claimed she sent a total of 15 million Korean won over six wire transfers.
When she realised it was a scam, the company then blackmailed her with a photo of her legs that she had sent in a chat and also threatened to expose her chats.
After the company discovered she was a former K-pop idol, it also requested photos of her and her former bandmates, who were popular in 2014 and 2015.
Upon making a police report, she learnt there are reportedly other victims of the same scam. She also said she was going public to help prevent others from falling for the ruse.
Mina, who made her debut in eight-member group AOA in 2012, alleged in 2020 that her bandmate Jimin had bullied her for a decade, which led to Mina leaving the group in 2019 and Jimin exiting in 2020. Others have left AOA over the years and there are only two members, Hyejeong and Chanmi, left. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network