A man in central China who dated more than a dozen women in the past two years and had children with four of them has admitted cheating them out of possessions.

Assuming different identities, the man pretended to be the son of a wealthy family and used a fake luxury car and counterfeit jewellery to start romantic relationships with 19 women since 2017, the Zhengzhou-based Dahe Daily reported on Monday.

Four of the women had his children and two others were pregnant, the report said, quoting police in Henan province. One of them said he stole her car as she went into labour in hospital.

Officers detained the man, surnamed Tan, last month after women separately reported that they had fallen victim to a romance scammer, police said.

Seventeen of them decided to file a case with the police against Tan but two declined, although they said they were cheated, the report said.

Tan began tricking women in 2017 after he lost his job selling alcohol to entertainment venues, investigators said.

He asked them for money using various pretexts, including cash flow strains on his business, and insisted they keep the babies when they became pregnant.

As the number of girlfriends increased, Tan led his parents to believe he had disappeared, and they put his name on a police missing persons database.

One of the victims, who gave birth to a son in September, said she fell into love with Tan in June 2017. Tan not only looked rich and spoke eloquently, but was also considerate and thoughtful, the woman, surnamed Wang, said.

He spent two hours outdoors one winter night to deliver a coat to her, and an entire night in the winter chill to persuade her not to have an abortion, Wang was quoted as saying.

But when she was in labour at hospital Tan disappeared with her car, she said.

Another woman, surnamed Yang, said she was tricked out of 150,000 yuan (US$22,350) in total by Tan, who claimed to be a postgraduate student and from the family of a high-level government official.

She said he had a car that appeared to be a Mercedes-Benz but she later found out later it was a modified low-end marque.

Tan, who became her boyfriend at the beginning of last year, told Yang he was in financial dire straits and talked her into buying a mobile phone for him and giving him cash. He gave her a fake 5-carat diamond ring in exchange for a piece of gold jewellery weighing 165 grams when they were engaged two months later, she said.

-AsiaOne

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