Woman Scammed By Russian Astronaut Who Claimed To Need Money To Return To Earth

A man claiming to be a Russian astronaut in space allegedly scammed a Japanese woman into paying for his return trip to earth, vowing to marry he once he landed. The man found the 65-year-old unnamed victim on Instagram in June. On his profile, he uploaded random photos of space and said he worked at the International Space Station, where astronauts have limited access to cell service. Their relationship quickly escalated, with the “astronaut” telling the woman he wanted to start a new life with her in Japan, but to tie the knot he needed money to return to earth. There were landing fees to pay once in Japan, and there was the cost of a rocket to actually fly to the country. Believing the man would be her future husband, the woman paid him about ¥4.4 million ($30,000) in five installments between August 19 and September 5. However, when the man’s demands continued, the woman grew suspicious and reported him to the police, who are now investigating.