To fund her lavish lifestyle, a married woman in China reportedly conned almost 20 men into giving her a total of 2 million yuan (approximately $296,256) since 2017.
The 29-year-old woman, surnamed Wu, began luring men into fake marriage agreements in 2017, even allegedly dating 18 men at once, reported Shanghai TV.
Wu would reportedly enthrall the men into a fake relationship, convincing them that her feelings were genuine and that she was in love. She would take pre-wedding photos with the men, who would often call her “wife.”
Once Wu had captivated the men, the 29-year-old would allegedly request money, explaining that she needed it to help several family members. Some of her explanations included that her father has cancer, her cousin needed to be bailed out of jail and her brother needed money to buy a home after getting married.
Some of the men that Wu dated took out loans to fulfill her cash requests.
Wu’s boyfriends began to grow suspicious of her and threatened to report her to the police. She would then request money from her newer boyfriends in order to pay back the old ones.
Earlier this year, Wu’s elaborate scheme began to fall apart when she asked one of her boyfriends, surnamed Wang, to pose as her brother. She explained that she was trying to get rid of another man, surnamed Li, who she claimed was tracking her down over unpaid taxes.
Wang had loaned Wu around 900,000 yuan (approximately $133,315).
Following his suspicions, in June, Wang demanded a meeting between his and Wu’s parents, threatening to break up with her and take back his money if she refused. Wang reported Wu to the police after she stated that she was unable to return the money at the time.
“The man asked me when we could return the money to him. He said he is short of money and he had already sold his house,” Wang told police per South China Morning Post. “I instantly became suspicious of Wu. How could it be possible that a person who pushed others to pay taxes had sold his own house?”
Wu has been married since 2014 and has a 2-year-old son with her husband. Shanghai police discovered Wu residing in a rental home with her husband where she claimed to work as a fashion model.
During the investigation, Wu stated that she was single and was dating the men as a way of funding her expensive lifestyle. She added that the money was going towards her siblings and her parents, who live outside of Shanghai.
Police are currently investigating the situation.