China: Around The Nation

Chinese woman discovers Romeo con man who cheated her of 600,000 yuan is son-in-law

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 May, 2017, 2:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 May, 2017, 8:48pm

A woman in eastern China was swindled out of hundreds of thousands of yuan by a man online who turned out to be her son-in-law, Chinese media reported.

And the reason she found out was that her daughter – the culprit’s wife who was unaware of the deceit – was shown the emails and thought “hmm, that sounds familiar”.

The mother, from Yangzhou in Jiangsu province, was courted by a man she met on the web, who used a variety of excuses to trick her into wiring him more than 600,000 yuan (US$86,900) over a period of nine months, the Yangtse Evening Post reported.

The victim, whose name was not reported, believed the man to be a 56-year-old entrepreneur from Guangzhou called Zhou Cheng.

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He was in fact her son-in-law, who later confessed to setting out to cheat his relative.

He has been arrested and is awaiting prosecution, the paper reported.

The deception evolved over months-long online correspondence between the woman and “Zhou” in which he told her he had troubles in his marriage and wanted to get a divorce.

But in the process of getting a “divorce”, he claimed his assets were frozen and he needed 10,000 yuan in legal fees.

After the “divorce”, he said he needed 200,000 yuan to transfer his company assets into cash.

“Zhou” told the woman that he also knew her son-in-law - a coincidence she believed to be a stroke of fate - and asked her to transfer the money to him via her relative.

Through a variety of colourful excuses, the woman was scammed into giving up more than 600,000 yuan, much of which she had to borrow.

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The victim’s husband told the newspaper his wife had previously been cheated of 50,000 yuan by another person online who was selling mattresses.

Their daughter discovered her mother was probably the victim of the latest scam and called the police. They tracked the IP address of “Zhou” only to discover that he was the son-in-law and husband.