A MAN claiming to be a Russian astronaut has tricked a woman into paying more than £27,000 for his return trip to Earth after vowing to marry her.
The 65-year-old woman reportedly sent the scammer the huge sum of cash after he said he wanted to “fly” home from space and start a new life together in Japan.
The man began a conversation with the woman on Instagram in June.
His profile was filled with random photos of outer space – and the space cowboy even claimed he works on the International Space Station, where astronauts have limited access to phone service.
As the online relationship blossomed, he told her he wanted to tie the knot and needed thousands to cover the cost of a rocket and landing fees to get back home, TV Asahi reports.
He told the woman, “I want to start my life in Japan. Saying it 1,000 times won’t be enough, but I will say it again and again. I love you.”
In order to get married, he said he needed money to return to Earth – and the wife was cheated out of thousands.
Between August 19 and September 5, she sent her alleged future husband a whopping 4.4 million yen (£27,350) in five separate installments.
He claimed he needed the money for a week’s vacation, rocket fees from the space station and the cost of landing in Japan.
The woman eventually became suspicious after he kept asking for more money, and she reported the “astronaut” to the police.
The case is reportedly being investigated as a love scam.
Love scams are on the rise in Japan – last year there were 14,498 cases, almost 67 percent more than a decade earlier when there were 8,693.
Tsuguo Sakai, director of the Japan Consumer Policy Association, urged people to contact the police if they suspect they have been the victim of a scam.
Romance scams took the spotlight following the release of The Tinder Swindler on Netflix – a documentary about scammer Simon Leviev who has scammed women out of millions of pounds.
Brazen Leviev, 32, has been accused of cheating on £7.4million worldwide with women he met on Tinder.
Netflix told how Leviev posed as the heir to a diamond billionaire to charm women online to convince them to lend him money.
He is now banned from the dating app.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6410855/woman-scammed-astronaut-marry-rocket-landing-fees/ Wife cheated out of £27,000 by ‘astronaut’ who convinced her he would marry her if she could pay his ‘rocket landing fees’