Korean consulate in Brazil warns of scams involving celebrity imposters following incident

A statement was issued by the Consulate General of Korea in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to warn K-culture fans of scammers pretending to be Korean celebrities. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

The Consulate General of Korea in Sao Paulo, Brazil, warned K-culture fans in the country to be careful of scams, which have been increasing in the country.

According to a statement posted on the consulate’s website on Tuesday, a Brazilian woman, who is an ardent fan of K-dramas and K-pop was recently scammed by an imposter who was pretending to be Korean actor Park Bo-gum. The imposter first approached the victim via direct message on Instagram and befriended the victim. Then when the relationship was “secure enough,” the imposter told the victim they wanted to go to Brazil to see her, but said she would have to wire them some 50,000 real (about $9,700) first, since it’s difficult to use the agency’s money to pay for travel expenses, the consulate explained.

“The victim wired the money without any suspicion and even borrowed money from her acquaintances to come up with the large sum,” the statement said. The Park Bo-gum imposter with whom the Brazilian woman was talking, cut off communications after the wire transfer.

“People who claim to be celebrities on social media and who form private relationships then ask for money will be scammers, almost all the time,” the statement said. “If you know anyone suspicious, pretending to be a Korean celebrity, please report it to the police, or contact the embassy or the consulate general. Please spread this information so that no other fans of Korean culture fall victim to such fraud.”

The consulate said the Brazil police is currently investigating the case.