Man admits conning girlfriend he never met out of US$60,000 in Chinese online dating fraud

Woman went to police after four-year deception in which she was persuaded to lend money to man who used a false name

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 2:46pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 2:46pm

A man has admitted to fraud after a victim of an online dating scam handed over thousands of yuan to a boyfriend she had never met, according to a news website.

The woman, identified only by her surname Chen, from Yancheng city in northeastern Jiangsu province, met her online boyfriend in March 2014 via a popular dating website, reported the Modern Express.

Although she never met the man in person, Chen was scammed into lending him 380,000 yuan (US$60,500) over the course of four years.

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Going by the name of Zhou Weichen, the man claimed to be a music editor at CCTV, China’s main state-owned television broadcaster. He also claimed to own a property in Beijing, and that his father worked for Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina. Throughout the time they spoke, he asked Chen to lend him varying amounts of money.

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In January, after four years of attempting to meet up, Chen reported the fraud. The following month, local police from Funing county began investigations that led them to a 30-year-old male surnamed Yang in Jilin city, northeastern China – more than 1,500km north of Yancheng and 1,000km northeast of Beijing. Yang admitted to fraud in court.

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“Four years ago, Yang registered a fake name on a dating website, and later met the victim, Ms Chen,” the police were quoted as saying. “The two added each other on [Chinese instant messaging service] QQ and exchanged information.”

The police have warned against revealing information to people online.