A Chinese con-woman created a "superhuman" alter ego and claimed powers of invisibility in order to dupe victims out of cash.
The fraudster (54), named Ms Yang, tricked people into believing she was actually "Mr Li", a "superhuman" police officer who worked for Interpol and the Ministry of Finance but was also able to make himself disappear.
The trickster's supernatural cover was blown when one victim discovered she had been sharing a bed with a fraudster who was in fact a woman.
Ms Yang's campaign of deception began in 2013. Short of cash she posed as "Mr Li" – a Communist Party official who boasted physical attributes that are normally the reserve of superheroes – on an internet forum. There, Ms Yang set about identifying and seducing her targets.
Mr Li's first victim was Ms Zhang, a 48-year-old who appears to have been instantly charmed. Their relationship blossomed and the couple moved in together.
Maintaining the farce appears to have stretched Mr Li's skills to their limit. Ms Yang cut her hair short and deepened her voice when regaling her girlfriend with tales of how "Mr Li" had helped Interpol crack "major" international cases by using his magical powers.
Ms Zhang – described as "quite superstitious" – was utterly taken in. When "Mr Li" claimed he had lost his wallet and needed cash, she lent her high-flying partner a total of 120,000 yuan (£13,840). "Mr Li" promised to repay her and said the funds would help him "do things for the country".
But the debt was never settled. Instead, in August, "Mr Li" wrapped himself in a distinctly human cloak of invisibility and vanished from his partner's life. (© Daily Telegraph, London)