A woman in China is on trial after she conned victims out of thousands of pounds by adopting the “superhuman” alter-ego of a made-up senior Communist Party member and police officer who could turn invisible.
The 54-year-old, known only as Ms Yang, persuaded her two female lovers and a pensioner that she was a “superhuman” police officer who worked for Interpol, and the Chinese Ministry of Finance, according to Beijing News.
She was found out in August last year when one of the lovers uncovered that 'Mr Li' was in fact a woman.
The scam began when Ms Yang was in need of money and allegedly faked documents to gain access to an internet forum for middle-aged singletons where she pretended to be 'Mr Li'.
Her first victim, 48-year-old Ms Zhang who was described by the newspaper as ‘superstitious’, believed ‘Mr Li’ when he said he was able to turn invisible and worked as a high-flying police officer and civil servant.
To cement her story, Ms Yang cut off her hair and adopted a deep voice. The pair soon moved in together and Ms Yang fooled Ms Zhang into believing ‘Mr Li’ used his magic powers to help Interpol.
Having gained Ms Zhang’s trust, Ms Yang persuaded her to send her alter-ego 120,000 yuan (£11,840) to “receive international friends” after ‘Mr Li’ lost his wallet.
Ms Yang then fled their home and actually vanished out of Ms Zhang’s life.
When Ms Zhang contacted the Ministry of Finance to track down ‘Mr Li’ she was told that they had never heard of him.
Meanwhile, Ms Yang had moved on to a 52-year-old named Ms Song whose laptop she stole. She also targeted a pensioner who lost £400.
The story fell apart when Ms Zhang approached the police looking for 'Mr Li' only to be told that he was, in fact, a 54-year-old woman who had previously spent 11 years in jail for fraud.
Ms Yang will now go on trial for the second time, according to prosecutors from Shijingshan in western Beijing.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies