Woman fakes identity to steal $500,000 from businessman

By Duc Hung   October 6, 2023 | 10:00 pm PT
Dao Thi Mong Thuong scammed a businessman in central Nghe An province out of VND12 billion ($500,000) by pretending to be an overseas Vietnamese woman struggling with family issues.
Dao Thi Mong Thuong under arrest at a police station for allegedly scamming money. Photo courtesy of Nghe An police

Dao Thi Mong Thuong under arrest at a police station for allegedly "scamming money." Photo courtesy of Nghe An police

According to authorities, Thuong, 42, got to know Khanh, 46, a construction business owner, on social media in 2019.

Knowing that Khanh was wealthy, Thuong hatched a plan to swindle him out of money.

She created a Facebook account named Ngoc Minh and posted photos she stole from another young pretty woman. She then used the account to approach Khanh, saying that she came from a wealthy family and her parents had their own sea freight logistics business.

To better reinforce her cover, she bought clothes similar to those worn by the woman in the photos she stole to upload to her fake Facebook account and took photos of herself in those outfits from behind before sending them to Khanh to reinforce his trust.

As she had carefully researched Khanh, Thuong knew Khanh was legally separated from his wife and did charity a lot. She thus sent him comforting messages every day, things like "everything in life is destined," and she sent him VND50 million asking him to help "unfortunate people" on her behalf because she was busy with work.

Believing that he had met a young woman who liked doing good deeds, Khanh started growing an affection for Thuong. The two started conversing for hours before eventually establishing a romantic relationship.

She further wove her trap by creating many more social media accounts, with which she then used to contact Khanh claiming to be Minh’s relatives.

Only after half a year exchanging conversations with Khanh did Thuong mention the topic of money for the first time. She told Khanh that she wanted to invest in some projects but did not have enough money, and asked to borrow it from Khanh because she did "not want to financially rely on [her] wealthy parents."

Khanh did not really believe her at first and turned down her request. However, Thuong managed to convince him in the end. She received a total of VND2 billion from Khanh between August 2019 and June 2020, both in cash and through bank transfers.

One among the photos Thuong stole from other women to trick Khanh. Photo courtesy of Nghe An police

One among the photos Thuong stole from other women to trick Khanh. Photo courtesy of Nghe An police

Thuong managed to defraud the businessman out of another VND10 billion between February 2020 and April 2022.

Khanh exposed Thuong in April 2022 when he, out of doubt, stood outside the hotel room of "Minh’s adopted sister" while calling Minh over the phone. His suspicion was confirmed when he heard Thuong’s talking to him on the phone.

Thuong was arrested by Nghe An police in Ho Chi Minh City last month. She admitted that she had already spent all of the total VND12 billion she had tricked Khanh into sending, keeping only a few luxury items.

"We were puzzled over the reason why Khanh, a wealthy businessman, transferred billions of dong to a girlfriend he had never met," authorities said. "Thuong succeeded in manipulating his thoughts as she took advantage of how kind Khanh was."

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