Chinese man held over ‘online dating scam using voice manipulation device’

Arrest after man’s claim that he was conned out of US$70,000 by another man posing as a woman

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 6:44pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 7:04pm

A man in northern China has been arrested over allegations that he used a voice-changing device in an online dating scam that conned another man out of 450,000 yuan (US$70,700), according to reports.

The 23-year-old, surnamed Wang, from Harbin, capital of China’s northernmost province of Heilongjiang, was suspected of defrauding a man over 2,000 kilometres away in the Shanghai suburban district of Songjiang, reported news website on Tuesday.

The alleged victim, a 29-year-old surnamed Huang, was contacted by Wang, who was posing as a woman, on a dating website in January, according to Kanka news.

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It reported that Wang was alleged to have deceived Huang using a voice-changing device to talk online and through Chinese messaging app WeChat, as well as with pictures and videos of a woman. It is unclear who the woman in the pictures is.

In February, Huang’s new internet “girlfriend” contacted him claiming to be in urgent need of financial help, saying her father had died and her mother had been injured in a car accident, Kanka News reported.

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“She asked me to borrow money,” Huang was quoted as saying. “Because, at that time, I didn’t have any suspicions, I tried my best to help her.”

Huang enlisted the help of family and friends and sent Wang 450,000 yuan, the report stated. After months without repayment, Huang reported his suspected defraudment to local Shanghai police.

Last Friday police in Harbin arrested Wang, who has been detained.