Woman sent $30,000 to fake astronaut who asked her for money ‘to return to Earth’

The scammer told the woman that he worked as an astronaut on the International Space Station and that he needed the money to return to the planet.

A Japanese woman was swindled out of $30,000 by a subject who claimed to be an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS) and claimed to need the money to return to the planet and be with her.

The 65-year-old woman gave 4.4 million yen to the man so that he can go to Japan, as he assured her that he would marry her and start a new life

space scam

The victim met the man through social media. They would start chatting often over the LINE platform, which is popular in Japan, and the relationship became more and more intimate.

The subject claimed to work on the International Space Station and sent edited photos for the woman to believe.

The scammer began trying to formalize the relationship in order to carry out his attack. “I want to come to Japan and start my life. Will you marry me when I get to Japan?” he assured the woman.

However, this was the pretext for the scam. The man began asking for money so he could “pay landing fees from the International Space Station to Japan.”

Not happy with it, he began to ask for more money, a fact that overwhelmed the patience of the Japanese. She reported the subject to the Higashi-Omi Police Station, who is investigating the matter.

Not the first time

In 2016, an email scam was circulating in which someone pretended to be the cousin of Nigeria’s first astronaut, Abacha Tunde.

According to the scam, Tunde had been unknowingly left aboard a Soviet space station when the Soviet Union dissolved.

The prankster claimed that the cousin was still being paid for his ongoing solitary years of service, to the tune of over $15 million, but required a large sum of money to return to Earth and release the funds. If the victim was willing to pay 3 million, she could get 20% of the astronaut’s fortune.