Police claim that an international romance scam resulted in the theft of thousands of dollars from a Japanese woman. According to a news release from the Shiga Prefectural Police’s Higashi-Omi Police Station from October 7th, the 65-year-old woman in Higashiomi City contacted a man online who claimed to be a Russian astronaut operating on the International Space Station.
As reported by the outlet, which cited police, the “astronaut” declared his love for the woman and asked her to marry him. When he got back to Earth, he told her they might get married, according to TV Asahi. The scam artist posing as an astronaut requested money from the victim to pay for “landing fees” and rocket costs in order to return to Earth.
Between August and September, the woman sent him five payments totaling roughly $30,000 (4.4 million yen), according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The Scam artist persisted in demanding money though, so the woman called the police.