In the bustling province of Jiangsu, China, a complex web of deceit, led by a 35-year-old woman named Zhou, unfolded in an unimaginable manner. Zhou, who was legally wed and a mother to a daughter, orchestrated a series of fraudulent marriages that not only played with the emotions of her unsuspecting victims but also led them into significant financial losses.
Though married, Zhou’s journey of deception began when she entered into romantic relationships with other men. These unsuspecting individuals, identified as Luo, Zhang, and Xu, crossed paths with Zhou either through professional engagements or online platforms. Oblivious to her marital status, they were lured into her world of lies. Zhou’s real spouse, engrossed in his business ventures and frequently away from home, remained unaware of her dubious endeavors.
In a meticulously planned ruse, Zhou concealed her real identity by introducing herself under a false name. After a brief period of dating, she would propose the idea of marriage. To bypass the formalities and paperwork associated with an official union, Zhou would spin a tale about her house being slated for demolition, citing a need to remain single for availing governmental compensation. But she cleverly proposed hosting a wedding celebration, an occasion traditionally abundant in gifts and monetary offerings. The guests, who represented her side of the family, were nothing but actors she’d employed for the act. This elaborate charade extended for years, with Zhou even hiring the same actors periodically to play recurring roles of visiting relatives.
As she continued to live this double life, Zhou kept her “husbands” in the dark by claiming to be away for professional training sessions when she was, in reality, spending time with one of the others.
Zhang Xueting, from the Nanjing Lishui People’s Procuratorate, described Zhou as an attractive individual with a remarkable knack for pretense. Her deceitful operations amassed her a staggering 660,000 yuan (US$92,000).
But Zhou’s audacity didn’t stop there. In a subsequent attempt to extract money from Zhang, she concocted a story of expecting twins with him. Crafting an elaborate tale of birthing the twins in her parental home in a distant city, she even shared falsified images of pregnancy reports and newborns. A faux doctor, another actor in her grand performance, was the last straw that led to her unmasking.
Zhang’s growing suspicions led him to a private investigation, revealing Zhou’s legitimate marital status. This discovery culminated in legal action, with Zhou now facing a potential decade behind bars due to the substantial amount she swindled.
The unraveling of Zhou’s schemes led her legal spouse to sever ties and seek a divorce.
Social media was abuzz with reactions to this mind-boggling tale. Users marveled at the intricate deception, with some remarking on the cinematic quality of the entire situation. While some noted her potential in more constructive fields, others highlighted the emotional and financial turmoil she caused.
This isn’t an isolated incident in China, however. Another case emerged where a woman allegedly cheated five men, leading to losses of 220,000 yuan (US$30,000) in fake engagement scenarios.