Just imagine, you are all alone in a different country.
You went to earn a living to support yourself, your family, and something for your future.
You live with people who you work for. You get maybe two days off a month for yourself. You spend all your free time in a room with just the internet, not even the TV – because it is not in your native language. You are alone surrounded by people, and very lonely.
You find someone magical online and spend month after month connecting. This is the perfect person for you, and he said he loves you.
Something happens, he has problems or an emergency. He needs money, and you have some saved up, so you send him everything. You even take out a loan against your future earnings. You saved him and everything will be wonderful when you can be together.
Then you think that maybe something is wrong, and you suspect it was all a scam.
You reach out to anti-scam groups. None of them really understand what you are going through. They confirm he is a scammer, but do not have a place for you to turn to, for help and support.
You realize the incredible mistake you made. But the scammer still wants more. He even threatens you.
You have no one to turn to. That shame is unbearable. All your dreams gone in an instant. The pain is more than you can take.
You give up, and take your life.
This is exactly what happened to Boyati.
We know this because she reached out to one organization in the fall of 2014. We don’t know if she reached out to more.
Unfortunately, that organization didn’t have support groups then. They didn’t have a program to help victims in need then. Their team had not been trained in counseling then. They didn’t know how much she needed them. Until they learned of her death.
It changed that organization profoundly and forever.
Yes, it was a scammer that led her to this, but it was also the anti-scammer community that failed her.
It is for these reasons that this foundation was formed with an initial grant to register as a Non-Profit, to help others avoid scams, and understand their options better than Boyati did. This is a very costly and lengthy process that will take months still, and we should have this complete by late summer.
Always know that now there is help for victims of romance scams, and if you are in need we will recommend help. If you know someone in need, there is help. Send us a message and we will make sure you have someone to talk to.
We hope to god that there is never another life lost because they could not find help when they most needed it.
Foreign domestic works are at very high risk, and we need help.
All we ask of each of you is to help spread the word to any others that may be in similar situation. Send messages and comments to local newspapers about Boyati’s story; post it on your blocks and social media. Help make Boyati’s sacrifice the trumpet call for others that need help too! You can make a difference!
If you need anything, let us know (by message to this page) and we will recommend a support group and other ways to help, or help in any other way possible.
Remember Boyati Miskun.
Boyati was a 42 year old Indonesian domestic worker who took her own life after being defrauded of HK$49,000 to her “Internet boyfriend”.
Police found Boyati Miskun dead on July 22, hanging on the stairway in her employer’s building in Ngau Tau Kok. Her suicide was brought about by her financial loss from her scammer amounting to HK $49,000.
Police concluded the suicide involved scammers because Boyati sent money to Ghana, Africa, and to someone else in Indonesia.
In 2011 Boyati found her “soulmate” in a “David Mark”. David Mark claimed to be a member of the US Army, and the two chatted daily before becoming a couple online. Their relationship lasted for four years.
In 2014, Mark said he was going to retire and he wanted to spend his life in Indonesia. However, he invested his army salary into 75kg of gold in Ghana, and put the “gold certificate” under Boyati’s name. The gold would soon be sent from Ghana to Boyati’s home in Indonesia.
Another e-mail came, with a certain Captain Samuel Friday asking Boyati for $24,000 and $17,000 to pay for custom clearance tax. Then another e-mail threatened Boyati that she had to send the money so she would lose the gold.
On March 2015, Friday told Boyati that she failed to pay all of the custom clearance tax. The death threats came soon after.
Boyati went to the Indonesian consulate for help but insists David Mark was innocent. She plunged into depression upon discovery that she was scammed.
It was then that she took her life.