Uncovering the Web of Lies of Another Anna Delvey-Style Scammer
In a wedding in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2018, a bride’s fabricated identity began to unravel. The actor who played her father was not personally related to her, and the events company employing the actors declined to speak with VICE World News.
Tina Duong, the beautiful young woman who loved luxury clothing and shouldered people with exorbitant gifts, had a flippant attitude towards money. This was shown in her spending habits, from candid photos at home with her branded bags, to the generous meals she would buy for the staff at her favorite hair salon, and the sleek silver Rolls Royce sitting in front of her wedding venue in 2018.
Tina Duong, a 27-year-old from the poor and remote Bac Giang province in northeastern Vietnam, is known to most of the country as the Vietnamese Anna Delvey, who fooled her way into the upper echelons of New York City posing as a German heiress from 2013 to 2017. After years of grifting, this heiress persona has been upended by a series of fraud allegations by victims, ranging from fake business partnerships to outright theft and love scams. Nha Le, a cosmetic clinic owner and Tina’s former sister-in-law, exposed Tina’s use of fake relatives at the extravagant 2018 wedding, adding that she had borrowed a total of 17 billion dong ($723,000) from the family. Nha Le also claimed to have gathered more than 40 of Tina’s victims, who had lost an estimated combined total of 100 billion dong ($4.3 million). Nguyen Huy Nhut, 38, and 14 other alleged victims are filing a police complaint against Tina for fraud.
Tina borrowed 400 million dong ($17,000) from Nhut to pay for a canceled meeting and was approached online by a man claiming to be Tina’s father. Tina also admitted to “abusing trust and appropriating property” after selling a self-driving car she rented in Ho Chi Minh City. Tina was released on bail in October, local media reported. Despite being a seasoned grifter, Tina hasn’t always been successful in winning the hearts and wallets of the men she has set her eyes on. Last year, another one of her ex-lovers, Khiem Nguyen, detailed their turbulent relationship in a Facebook post, warning others against falling for Tina’s scams.
Kalim, a coffee shop owner in Ho Chi Minh City, and Tina, a fake heiress, embarked on a whirlwind romance. Two weeks into the relationship, Tina was kidnapped and rescued. Tina did not take the breakup well, bombarding Kalim with messages, phone calls, and eventually, suicide threats.
Tina had been secretly watching Kalim on social media for a year before they officially met, enamored with the carefree image he portrayed online but too shy to make the first move. She had been secretly watching Kalim on social media for a year before they officially met, enamored with the carefree image he portrayed online but too shy to make the first move.
A 14-year-old girl from Dao My commune in northeastern Vietnam, Tina struggled with poverty and teenage angst after her parents’ divorce. When her fake identity publicly fell apart, her family found out about her years of deceit. Vu The Dung, a Youtuber who has been posting videos about her fall, believes Tina is not the calculating fraudster she’s being made out to be.
Viet Dung Trinh, the program director at VinUniversity’s College of Business and Management in Hanoi and a researcher of luxury goods, sees the saga as a lesson to be learned about the rise of materialism in Vietnam. Free market reforms in the 1980s opened up Vietnam’s socialist economy, transforming the country into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Tina exploited these shifting attitudes around wealth and status in Vietnam, brandishing the hottest luxury items and with her flamboyant spendthrift habits.
Tina has been approached by filmmakers interested in introducing “Vietnamese Anna Delvey” to the big screen. Tina has attempted to set out on her own path to redemption, and in September, she announced on social media that she was embarking on a journey to “find her true identity again.” However, Kalim, Tina’s ex-lover, is still struggling to recover from his encounter with the serial fraudster. He believes that a love fraud is worse than killing the victims, as they will be in a condition worse than death and will keep blaming and doubting themselves.
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