A 27-year-old man from Stockholm who claimed he was a famous rock star managed to swindle nearly 250,000 kronor ($36,300) from unsuspecting victims, reports The Local, a Swedish online news agency. The man operated in the Swedish capital, as well as in Gothenburg and Nyköping, between March and October of this year, the Metro newspaper reports.
Using flawless English, the man would present himself as an international pop star. Sometimes he claimed to be a member of Coldplay [Chris Martin pictured] or the German Eurodance group Culture Beat. His most common ruse, however, involved posing as Belgian singer songwriter Milow, whose 2008 cover of “Ayo Technology” reached number one in Sweden.
The 27-year-old then convinced his star-struck victims to make withdrawals from a cash machine and hand him the money, claiming he needed to exchange US dollars.
But just after receiving the cash, the make-believe Milow would say he had to rush off to an interview, promising to compensate his victims with concert tickets and invitations to exclusive parties if they came by his hotel to speak with his “manager”. According to Metro, some of the more than 25 victims gave the pop star impostor as much as 15,000 kronor.
“He had a very great talent for convincing people and got them to believe everything he said,” prosecutor Andreas Nyberg told the newspaper. “Some actually invited him to their homes.”
One of the man’s victims, who lost 13,000 kronor, described the 27-year-old as “well-spoken and trustworthy”. “I never suspected a thing,” he told Metro. But the 27-year-old’s time at the top of the charts came to an abrupt end when he was caught at Stockholm’s central train station in November. He has since been sentenced to 21 months in prison for aggravated fraud and robbery.