A Nigerian scammer identified as “Star Boy,” who pretends to be a beautiful female American soldier on Facebook, has been arrested by Thailand authorities for internet romance fraud.
The Nigerian, known as Antonio Jose Carlos or ‘Star Boy’ in his community, was arrested yesterday for targeting lonely Thai men and defrauding them of their savings with promises of love.
According to reports from the Asian country, the 35-year-old, Antonio Jose Carlos, was arrested alongside his 20-year-old Thai girlfriend, Sukanya Sakaew, in an apartment in Chaengwattana area as part of the government’s crackdown on foreign criminals.
Thai Police allegedly found six mobile phones and a few bank books at the apartment, which had a circulating fund of THB3 million (about $92,000).
Police investigators said “Star Boy” was engaged in ongoing conversations with 38 middle-aged Thai men using a Facebook profile in which he presented himself as an American woman. It was unclear how much money he had managed to con out of them.
Follow-up investigations yesterday ultimately saw the arrests of five other members of the so-called Star Boy gang, all Nigerian nationals.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpan, deputy commander of the tourist police, said the scammers had played on their victims’ desperate need for romance and tricked them into transferring money to their bank accounts.
Some had built social media profiles to give the appearance of a luxurious lifestyle, and then asked victims to invest in a business with them.
Police have charged the suspects with fraud and putting false information into a computer system that causes damages to others. The investigation is ongoing.