A Chinese man who reportedly scammed dozens of women out of tens of thousands of dollars by posing as a professional and using pictures of attractive South Korean men has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
He Gansheng, a 38-year-old who lived with his wife and children in Hubei, was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison. He was also fined 30,000 yuan (approximately $4,166) in April 2021, according to reports.
Although the sentencing took place more than a year ago, as seen in the verdict published on China Judgments Online, the case was only revealed on Sept. 1 after a Hubei court published a legal article online.
He, described as “ordinary-looking, short at 160 centimeters 5 feet, 3 inches) tall, married with three children and unemployed,” was accused of scamming 39 women out of 560,000 yuan (approximately $77,772) between 2016 and 2020.
While it was not revealed how much each individual victim lost to the romance scam, the article suggested the amount of money they gave to He was between a few thousand yuan to more than 110,000 yuan (approximately $15,277).
The man reportedly used Chinese dating apps such as Tantan, a Chinese version of Tinder, to match with women in Hubei, Sanxia Evening News reported. He purportedly showered them with attention and often sent pictures of high-end restaurants, claiming he had eaten at these places.
He also used fake identities to masquerade as a professional – such as a doctor in Shanghai, a lawyer in Shenzhen and a Ph.D. student in Beijing – and then worked his way to gain the trust of his female victims who were usually in their 20s. Additionally, the scammer used pictures of two attractive South Korean men he found online to lure his victims.
After gaining their confidence, He would then borrow money from the women to pay for his home loan, credit cards and other expenses. When asked to pay them back, He would often block them on social media or make excuses to delay payment.
He was eventually arrested after his last victim, a 22-year-old woman, asked her relatives for help after she gave him all her savings. The woman later reported the incident to the police in May 2020.
Last month, a Japanese man believed to be the ringleader of a $2.9 million global “romance scam” was arrested in Ghana due to the combined effort of Interpol Tokyo and the Ghana Police Service.