Police on Friday arrested an Issan woman who updated the “sick buffalo” romance scam for the 21st century by allegedly scamming at least a half-dozen Chonburi men out of new cars.
At least six men from across the eastern province thought they had hit the jackpot when they swiped right on a Thai dating app and matched with 23-year-old Bussarakum “Muay” Saothong. It turns out she was only interested in swiping their credit cards.
After a lot of flirty chat and a few coffees, she somehow convinced the lonely, horny and older suckers that she needed their help. She needed a new car, but didn’t qualify for financing. She even told some she had been blacklisted by credit agencies, but that didn’t faze the would-be Romeos.
So the guys paid the down-payment for a new car, signed the financing contract and turned over the keys, confident their new “girlfriend” would hold up her end of the deal and take over the payments the following month. That was the last time they ever heard from suay Muay again.
The victims told police she ghosted them: Changed number, deleted profile and all traces of her online. Now they were stuck with payments for a car they didn’t have.
The jilted johns went to subdistrict police stations all over Chonburi – but strangely enough not Pattaya, probably because guys there are keen to the “sick buffalo” scam – and filed fraud complaints. Police issued three separate arrest warrants for her.
Bussarakum was arrested Friday in Hua Hin where she had taken the cash she got from selling the scammed cars and opened a beauty spa she called “Top Secret”. Turns out it wasn’t so secret, as police saw her posts about her crime-funded business on Facebook and showed up at her door.
Bussarakum denied the charges, but has been denied bail and awaits prosecution. She faces up to three years in prison for each charge.
Chonburi police, meanwhile, again had to put out word to the province’s lonely hearts not to buy cars, gold or other expensive gifts to women they online know from the internet.