Huang is now haunted by debt – a planned target run by international crime groups that force human trafficking victims into online fraud.
Once he feels comfortable and at ease, Huang is now haunted by debt – a planned target run by international crime groups that force human trafficking victims into online fraud.
She is among a growing number of Chinese who have been tempted to hand over large sums of money by fraudsters pretending to be potential love interests.
Known as “pig slaughter”, these schemes are run by criminal gangs in Southeast Asia suspected of kidnapping Chinese and others and forcing them to defraud their own.
Crooks prepare for weeks before being lured to plow money In fake investment platforms and other scams.
– ‘Just write to me’ –
Huang’s ordeal began after she uploaded her resume to a popular Chinese recruitment site last year.
The 28-year-old real estate professional was contacted by a recruiter who calls himself Lynn, and the two struck up a romance online.
With the same interests, Lin seemed “the kind that just suits me,” Huang told AFP under a pseudonym, to prevent friends and family from finding out she had been cheated on.
Huang said the carefully choreographed dramatic story of abandonment of childhood and poverty encouraged her to “feel sympathy and pity” for him.
The pair never met in person, but Lynn convinced her he was honest with video calls and a screenshot of his alleged ID.
At Lin’s urging, Huang first put 50,000 yuan ($7,000) into a fictitious investment platform – but after backing out of the plan, Lin changed course.
– A man with many faces –
In November of that year, Lin failed to appear at the couple’s first personal meeting in Chengdu, the southwestern city China Where does Huang live?
Several of his online acquaintances, one of whom claimed to be Lin’s lawyer, later said that the Shanghai police had detained him and needed thousands to release him on bail.
Despite claiming he would soon be released, Lin begged for more money as his case faced a series of mysterious obstacles.
Huang said he needs to compensate a fellow prisoner who was injured in an altercation, pay compensation to corrupt officials, and finally pay hospital bills after he was beaten by a warden, according to Huang.
She said Lynn made her “feel so guilty” for not helping him that she started taking out exorbitant loans to support him.
Huang estimates that she lost 700,000 yuan before finally notifying the police in July, prompting Lin and his companions to cut off contact.
Police said they told her they were unlikely to get the money back, and that there was likely to be activity outside, she said.
Huang added that the experience “turned my life around” and led to sleepless nights full of debt worries.
“I used to be a happy person… (but) I hurt myself,” she told AFP. “I don’t trust men easily anymore.”
– engrossing women –
Tao, which is also a pseudonym, lost a huge amount in a few weeks.
In July, someone claimed to be popular dating app He linked her to a Hong Kong-based stockbroker named Lee.
Rich and charming, Li Tao has attached a false compass to her hometown in central China and plans to move to Shanghai, where she worked.
He quickly tricked her into downloading a fraudulent investment app and giving away 5,000 yuan.
Tao “pulled” the payment two days later at a decent profit, but found she couldn’t do the same with subsequent transfers made under pressure from Lee.
In just 10 days, she handed over the 89,000 yuan she had borrowed most of it – the equivalent of her salary for an entire year.
His text is fully prepared,” the postpartum services specialist said. “I trusted him implicitly.”
“I just feel so stupid…these scammers are very effective at preying on women like me.”
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