Latest Newsletter🍵 Biden awards Asian artistsRead


Woman loses $300,000 worth of bitcoin to person who posed as a Chinese architect on dating app Hinge

  • Tho Vu, 33, lost about $300,000 worth of bitcoin after being scammed by her Hinge match.

  • The scammer, who went by the name Ze Zhao, earned her trust by promising her a honeymoon and a new life together.

  • According to Vu, she deposited her bitcoin into the digital wallet that the man gave her.

  • The digital wallet turned out to be owned by Ze, who disappeared soon after receiving Vu’s payment.

Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

A woman lost almost her entire savings after getting scammed by a man she met on dating platform Hinge. 

Tho Vu, 33, thought she found romance on the platform when she was matched with a man who claimed to be a Chinese architect living in Maryland, reported the New York Times

For months, Vu regularly communicated with the man who went by Ze Zhao, a name that has not been verified. 

He gained her trust by being flirtatious, calling her his “little sweetheart” and promising to bring her to China to meet his family someday. Vu had reportedly already developed a crush on Ze when he pitched her an opportunity to make money by investing in cryptocurrency. 

Ze’s suggestion sounded appealing to Vu, who said she had been hearing about Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry around the time.

The man convinced her that they could use the investment earnings for their honeymoon and to help them start a new life together.

In a few weeks, she sent bitcoin worth $300,000 to a wallet address that the man told her was connected to the Hong Kong crypto exchange (OSL). 

Vu said she did not find anything suspicious, as she was able to check the balance of her bitcoin savings. The wallet turned out to be owned by Ze, who disappeared soon after. 

“I thought I knew him,” Vu was quoted as saying. “Everything was a lie.”

Rates of romance scams, which involve faking romantic interest to siphon money from a victim, have grown significantly during the pandemic, based on reports received by the Federal Trade Commission. Around 56,000 cases of romance scams were reported to the agency last year, resulting in a staggering $139 million in victims’ losses.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Oregon office, over 1,800 people lost approximately $133 million to online dating scams in just the first seven months of 2021.

The FBI urged the public to avoid sharing personal and financial information with anyone online and to use sound judgment when offered investment opportunities.

Featured Image via Goran Horvat

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

Support NextShark

Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal