Ho Chi Minh City police are investigating a case in which a Vietnamese woman claims to have been cheated out of US$67,000 by a British man she met online.
The woman known as D.T.X.D., 40, of Binh Thanh District reported to police last Saturday she made friends with a man who introduced himself as William last month on the Internet.
William told D. he planned to transfer millions of US dollars into Vietnam and asked her to help him complete the necessary paperwork and contribute funds to the business venture.
On April 25, he told D. he had given $1.5 million to his friend, John, who would hand over the money to her.
John called D. saying he needed VND44 million ($2,100) to cover the fees for transporting the $1.5 million to HCMC.
D. then transferred VND44 million into John's account, who told her to meet him at a hotel in Tan Binh District to receive the $1.5 million.
At the hotel, John showed her a suitcase full of dollars, all dyed black. He said he had to dye the bank notes in order to sneak them past Vietnamese customs.
To make the woman believe, he soaked two $100 banknotes into a glass containing chemicals, which returned them to their normal appearance.
D. brought the banknotes to be tested at a currency shop. Convinced the banknotes were genuine, she returned to the hotel to see John the following day.
There John told her he had run out of chemicals to "wash" the money and asked D. for $50,000 to buy more.
After she agreed, he told her to meet him again, this time at another hotel, in order to receive the laundered money.
The following day, D. went to the hotel but John was not there, but another foreigner of African origin told her John had been arrested by the Vietnamese police while purchasing the chemicals, which are illegal.
This third foreigner asked her to give him an additional $15,000 to buy the chemicals, washing four banknotes before her eyes, winning her trust once again.
After D. gave him the money, he handed her a suitcase full of blackened dollars and left.
Several days later, her tests revealed the dollars in the suitcase were counterfeit.