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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ In Memoriam: Boyati Miskun
Indonesian Worker Kills Self After Internet Lover Scammed Her
From Our Archive: August 2015
Instead Of Finding Her Soulmate Online, She Lost $49,000 And Eventually Her Life.
Indonesian domestic worker Boyati Miskun was found dead on July 22, hanging on the stairway in her employer’s building in Ngau Tau Kok.
But months before, she had sought help from the Indonesian consulate and Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH) because Internet scammers from Africa were threatening her.
Miskun, age 42, hung herself after she was plunged into financial debts amounting to at least HK$ 49,000 just to pay the scammers.
Police cleared it was suicide and sent her body back to Indonesia.
“We’re afraid this involves international scammers because Boyati has sent the money to somebody in Ghana, Africa and to somebody else in Indonesia,” said Betty Wagner, the HDH officer who handled her case when Boyati went to the NGO asking help.
It Was All For Romance
In 2011, Boyati thought she found her soul mate when a scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. called.
A certain “David Mark,” who claimed to be a member of the US Army said he found Boyati’s handbag in Hong Kong International Airport and that it contained copies of her personal documents.
“Mark nicely asked Boyati to be more careful next time and, since then, they started to chat daily and became internet couple,” said Wagner.
Boyati fell head over heels for Mark. For more than four years, Boyati and her Internet lover used Facebook, emails, and telephone to chat at least once every day.
Boyati told HDH that they only chatted about personal things and Mark never once asked for money like what other Internet scammers would do.
As a domestic worker coming from a poor family, Boyati could not help seeing Mark as her “prince charming.”
Boyati started to change her email and Facebook into “Boyati Mark” and called the scammer “my husband.”
Although they never saw each other, not even by video chat, Boyati genuinely believed there was a handsome US Army man who loved her dearly.
Then, the scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. began. In end of 2014, Mark suddenly said he was going to retire and that he wanted to spend his life in Indonesia.
Therefore, he used his Army salary to buy 75 kg of gold in Ghana, Africa and put the ‘gold certificate’ under Boyati’s name. The gold, Mark claimed, would soon be sent from Ghana to Boyati’s home in Indonesia.
Then another email came. This time, a certain Captain Samuel Friday asked Boyati for US$4,200, and then US$ 17,000 to pay “customs clearance tax.”
More threatening emails arrived, forcing Boyati to send the money so that she would not lose “the gold.” The more Captain Friday asked, the more she sent.
But in March 2015, Boyati was told that she failed to pay all of the ‘custom clearance tax.” Captain Friday emailed her that they took the gold back to Ghana and will send it to Hong Kong instead. This time, threats came.
Boyati was led to believe that she had to pay a British man called Christ Powell another US$17,000 for “customs clearance tax” to bring the gold to Hong Kong. Mr. Powell sent an email, threatening to kill Boyati and make it appear “like suicide if she refused.”
Filled with fear, Boyati went to the Indonesian consulate and HDH. She said she also received emails from “Hong Kong Security Board” which supposedly wanted her deported, murder threats from “Gold Security,” and a person who claimed to be a British diplomat and who accused her of “stealing tax money.”
Until the end, Boyati believed David Mark was innocent.
“She got angry when I said Mark is part of the scammers, and that it was impossible for anybody to send 75 kilos of gold to someone he only knew on the Internet,” said Indonesian Vice Consul Rafail Walangitan.
When an Indonesian consul visited her in Ngau Tau Kok two days in a row, Boyati was plunged into depression and refused to believe that she was scammed. All she wanted was to meet Captain Friday, to ask what happened to her gold.
“She also refused to change her phone number, email, and Facebook to ‘break up’ with Mark,” said Rafail.
Boyati later ignored calls from the Consulate and HDH. A month went by until she was found dead. “It was hard, she just did not want to listen,” said Rafail.