A married man in China has been sentenced to more than 11 years in jail for conning more than 560,000 yuan (S$112,000) from 39 women using photos of two handsome Korean men and multiple identities.
He Gansheng, 38, conned the women who were mostly in their 20s, by posing as attractive and successful professionals including a doctor and a lawyer from 2016 to 2020, a court in central China’s Hubei province revealed in a published legal article online on Sept 1.
His deceptions were only exposed when his last victim, aged 22, called police in May 2020 after losing all her savings to He.
None of the victims ever met He in person, who the article described as “ordinary-looking, short at 160cm tall, married with three children and unemployed”.
He, who lives in Hubei province with his wife and children, was sentenced to 11 years and six months in jail and fined 30,000 yuan (US$4,200) in April last year, according to a verdict published on China Judgments Online, China’s leading judicial decisions database.
His online “girlfriends” lost amounts ranging from a few thousand to more than 110,000 yuan each after he won their trust and started “borrowing” money he said was to repay his home loan, credit cards and other expenses.
He then made various excuses to postpone repayment and when the women demanded their money back, He blocked them online.
Before his last victim, none of the women reported the theft to the police. The last victim turned to her relatives for help after lending He all of her savings.
The fake identities He used includSCAMed a doctor in Shanghai, a lawyer in Shenzhen, and a PhD student in Beijing, police later found.
He sent the women fake selfies using photos of two good-looking men from South Korea that he downloaded from the internet.
Romance scams have become increasingly common in mainland China in recent years. In a case revealed last month, a married fashion model was arrested by Shanghai police for allegedly conning 18 men out of more than US$300,000 to fund her luxury lifestyle.
At one point, the 29-year-old woman was dating more than a dozen men simultaneously.