A Japanese woman was scammed out of thousands of dollars in an international romance scam, according to police.
The 65-year-old woman in Higashiomi City met a man on Instagram who claimed to be a Russian astronaut working aboard the International Space Station, Japanese outlet Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing the Shiga Prefectural Police’s Higashi-Omi Police Station’s Oct 7 news release.
The two met in June and continued messaging for months, Kyodo News reported.
The “astronaut” told the woman he loved her and proposed to her, the outlet reported, citing police. He told her they could get married when he returned to Earth, TV Asahi reported.
The scam “astronaut” asked the woman to send him money for “landing fees” and rocket expenses to return to Earth, Kyodo News reported, citing police.
The woman sent him five payments between August and September totalling about US$30,000 (4.4mil yen or RM140,160), Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
Still, the scammer continued to ask for money, prompting the woman to contact the police, TV Asahi reported.
Higashiomi City is about 260 miles southwest of Tokyo.
Google Translate was used to translate stories from Yomiuri Shimbun and TV Asahi. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service