An online romance with a man claiming to be an American soldier in possession of a fortune seized from Islamic State militants has cost a woman in Nakhon Si Thammarat Bt692,000.
Marasee Thanaprasitchai, 56, filed a complaint with Thasala district police after the con artist called her via Facebook urging her to wire him a final instalment of Bt140,000, ostensibly to cover expenses entailed in sending her three bags filled with US dollar notes.
Marasee, a resident of Tambon Thakheun, had by then sent Bt692,200 in 11 instalments to the man who used the name John Walsh, communicating with him in Thai text chats.
On April 4, “Walsh” told her he’d seized three bags from IS combatants containing more than Bt100 million in cash and offered to send them to her because he would be breaking US laws if he kept the money.
Marasee transferred Bt10,000 to a purported shipping firm with the unimaginative name Express, then was told to wire more to a logistics firm called Delivers Company and to a Thai woman identified as Phawinee Torsee to cover the cost of Customs clearance.
When a final request for another Bt140,000 came, along with a promise that it would be the last before she received her “windfall”, Marasee finally said no and told “Walsh” she was going to the police.
He immediately ended the conversation on Facebook.