Instead of finding her soulmate online, she lost nearly $50,000 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. Her suicide was allegedly brought about by the debts incurred from her sending money to internet scammers abroad who pretended to be her boyfriend.
Months before, she had sought help from the Indonesian consulate and Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH) because Internet scammers from Africa were threatening her.
Police cleared it was suicide so they 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.
In 2011, Boyati met David Mark online, a man who claimed to be a U.S. Amy veteran living in Ghana. Nearly four years of correspondence transpired before Mark told Boyati he was going to retire and move to Indonesia to be with her. However, Mark told Boyati that he had $75,000 of gold stored Ghana. He put the “gold certificate” in Boyati’s name, claiming it would soon be sent to her in Indonesia.
Boyati then received an email from Captain Samuel Friday asking her to send close to $50,000 to pay a customs clearance tax in order to retrieve the gold. Boyati did pay, but Friday alerted her afterward that she had not paid on time. Then she began receiving death threats.
According to Romance Scam, Boyati went to the Indonesian consulate for help, but officials there explained to her that she was scammed.
“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 [from the] Internet,” said Indonesian Vice Consul Rafail Walangitan. “She also refused to change her phone number, email, and Facebook to ‘break up’ with Mark,” said Rafail.
Boyati refused to believe that Mark was in on the scam, eventually hanging herself out of despair.