A series of incidents of extorting money from fans by impersonating a famous musical actor on SNS has occurred, and the police have launched an investigation. The actor’s side also asks fans to be careful.
Reporter Kim Bo-mi covered the story.
A, an office worker who is an avid fan of Korean-American musical actor Michael Lee.
At the end of March, I received a message from a social media account where Michael Lee’s photo and name was registered.
It was said that among the fans seen on SNS, he contacted Mr. A after seeing his profile, so he suggested that we talk through another private SNS account because he wanted to know more.
[A 씨/사기 피해자 : 마이클 리를 좋아하니까 페이스북 계정에 자주 들어가는 편이에요. 근데 마이클 리 얼굴하고 ‘잘 지내세요’ 그렇게 메시지가 온 거예요.]
The conversation that started like that led to deep concerns such as personal life and conflict with the agency.
[A 씨/사기 피해자 : 저는 의심의 여지가 없었죠. 너무 행복했고.]
About three weeks after the conversation, the National Tax Service received a notice of tax evasion and asked for a loan, saying that it seemed his life as a celebrity was over.
[A 씨/사기 피해자 : 2억 원을 구해야 하는데 가까스로 주위 사람한테 1억 1천을 했다. 근데 9천을 어떻게 해야 될지 모르겠다고 하는 거예요.]
After depositing 90 million won, he claimed an additional 100 million won, saying he had to pay a fine, and Mr A sent another 100 million won while taking a loan.
I only found out later that it was a crime to impersonate an actor after seeing a notice from the agency telling me to beware of fraud.
[A 씨/사기 피해자 : 그 사람이 처해 있는 그 위기감 그게 더 중요했고 지나친 팬심인지 모르겠지만….]
After filing the complaint, the police launched an investigation into the impersonation account.
The agency asked fans to be careful, saying there were additional cases of damage apart from Mr. A.