FCC Issues Strict New Limit on Space Junk

Internet scams have been on the rise in the years since the pandemic began, but this might be the craziest yet.

A man who claimed to be a Russian astronaut allegedly scammed a Japanese woman into believing he would marry her once he landed back on earth.

The man is said to have coerced the woman into paying for his ‘return trip’ from space.

According to news outlet TV Asahi, the man discovered the 65-year-old victim on Instagram in June and began to contact her.

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He messaged her and claimed that he was working on the International Space Station while his profile was changed to include photos taken from space.

The man scammed thousands from the unsuspecting victimPixabay/PIRO4D

They communicated through the Japanese messaging app LINE and it wasn’t long before he pretended to propose to her and promised a life together when he ‘returned to Earth’.

“I want to start my life in Japan,” he told her, before adding: “Saying this 1,000 times won’t be enough, but I’ll keep saying it. I love you.”

Japanese publication Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the man then told the woman he needed money to return from space. He said the fees included buying a rocket to fly to Japan.

The woman by this point believed him fully and paid him around 4.4 million yen (about £25,000) in total over the course of five separate payments.

According to the reports, the woman eventually grew suspicious of the man after he grew more demanding and the police launched an investigation into a romance scam.

Scams are growing increasingly common in Japan, with the number of cases rising to 14,498 this year – a 67 per cent increase in 10 years.

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