After Nirvana in Fire <琅琊榜>, actor Jin Dong (靳東) was nicknamed “Auntie Killer” due to his popularity with middle-aged women. Unfortunately with his fame, he was a popular identity for scammers to impersonate. Shanghai Jing’an District People’s Court recently announced their decision in a trial where eight women were accused of impersonating Jin Dong and defrauding victims of 310,000 Chinese yuan.
The scammers would create social media account and update their profiles to mislead victims that they were chatting with the real Jin Dong. Since the middle-aged population are typically not as tech savvy, they were easily susceptible victims.
In the chat sessions, the scammers would often flatter the victims and call them “Baby” while asking about their daily lives. The scammers never admitted to being a “celebrity,” but would drop enough hints to mislead the victim. The scammers would often ask to add them in the close friends list and gain their trust first. They would then scam victims of hundreds of dollars in the name of joining his fans club or asking them to buy things. The time spent conning the victims ranged from one week to almost two years.
The victims included 60-year-old Mrs. Cheung, a loyal Jin Dong fan who joined a fan group in October 2021 and continuously transferred money to a member in the group named Jin Dong. Not long afterward, “Jin Dong” started making romantic advances and added her on Weixin where they would ask about her daily routine, talking late into the night. Mrs. Cheung fell for what she thought was her idol and transferred close to a total of CNY 200,000 before her son found out and called the police. She is still not willing to believe her idol was impersonated by scammers.
This group of scammers are led by a woman named Ms. Wang. She recruited seven others to carry out her plan and they created multiple accounts on social media impersonating Jin Dong, Jack Ma (馬雲), and other celebrities. The group would develop relationships with the victims while impersonating as celebrities and defraud them through different avenues including investments, charity, fans club fees, and online shopping.
The eight accused seemed to show remorse as they were willing to voluntarily return all illegal gains and pay all fines. Due to this, the court sentenced Ms. Wang to three years in jail and a fine of CNY 50,000. The other seven accused’s sentences ranged from two years imprisonment to four months detention subject to probation and fines.
Actor Jin Dong issued a statement on social media denouncing the scammers and thanking the court for their judgement.
This article was revised on February 7, 2024 to reflect that the actor impersonated in the case was Jin Dong, instead of Han Dong as initially reported.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.