Man Arrested for Pretending to Graduate from Harvard

On September 17th, Seoul police arrested a man for defrauding his fiancee out of nearly $50,000 after he claimed that he had graduated from Harvard Medical School. Starting in 2007, the man, whom the police identified by his last name Seo, began posting photos online of himself wearing a fake Harvard Medical School white coat. Seo even studied medical terms on his own so that he could fool doctors into believing his back story. The recent arrest happened after he became engaged to a young woman under false pretenses, even going so far as to say that he was close with the children of chaebol businessmen, had American citizenship, and promised to take his fiancee to America after their marriage. He accepted large sums of money from her family in preparation for his married life while in reality, he had never been overseas or graduated from high school.

The original picture the man uploaded to his social media account, showing himself wearing a fake Harvard  Medical School coat.

The original picture the man uploaded to his social media account, showing himself wearing a fake Harvard Medical School coat.

Article from Yonhap News:

‘He said he was a Harvard University doctor’…in reality, just a middle school dropout

On September 17th, the International Crime Investigation Bureau of the Seoul Police Department reported that they had arrested a 31-year-old man with the last name of Seo under suspicion for defrauding a woman out of money via falsifying his educational background. Seo, who had always dreamed of becoming a doctor, manufactured a doctor’s white coat and fake professor’s business card with the logo of the Harvard Medical School. Since 2010, he began creating a story about being affiliated with Harvard. Seo traveled to a university hospital lobby where he had a picture taken of himself wearing the white coat. Seo then uploaded the picture onto his social media account homepage. He also studied medical terminology on his own in order to be able to speak more naturally with doctors, going so far as to join a group of foreign medical students for a volunteer trip to the countryside.

Comments from Daum: 자유인:

If he was motivated enough to learn medical terms on his own, then he could have turned that energy to at least getting a university degree, ke ke ke ke.


Con artists…this country’s parasites…They know nothing about morals or compassion…Those who have suffered because of them all know the feeling.tsk tsk tsk


He’s a pro just like the Rat and Chicken who fool this country. [The ‘Rat’ and ‘Chicken’ are references to former President Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye.]


There is Ms. Park [Park Geun-hye] who graduated from Sogang University [a highly ranked school] and does’t know anything about her major. The politicians in power right now, the Blue House, they are all cheating us… He’s innocent compared to that.


When there are so many vain women out there obsessed with appearances, of course jerks like this are going to show up…


Just as much of a cheapshit con artist as Tablo, who claimed he dropped out of the second year of elementary school because he couldn’t memorize his multiplication tables, ha ha ha.


‘whatbecomes’ [the name of a famous netizen who led the Tablo investigation online] caught these cheats who made up records from American universities: Chun Doo-hwan’s son and Lee Myung-bak’s daughters (claiming they attended Penn State and Juilliard), Tablo, Sean Lim (two months of summer camp at Stanford University), Park Jeong-hyeon (Columbia University continuing education courses) Insooni’s daughter (Stanford continuing education), Kim In-hye (Juilliard), Hong Jeong-wook, Hwang Sang-min, Lee Joon-seok (Harvard continuing education courses), Roy Kim (claimed to be going to Georgetown University after dropping out of high school, then said he was taking a semester off when they caught him in the lie). If it hadn’t been for ‘whatbecomes’, then Korea would have been ruined by now by all of these cheaters. Now we have people going to American universities without ever taking the SAT, faking diplomas. Do you think Korea is a pushover?


Someone got to be president by cheating, so just give the guy a break and see it as something cute~


Those women must have been just as badly ignorant. They should’ve known better after talking to him for a while.


He became a self-made man only with a junior high school diploma—He’s still not as bad as a real doctor who wrote false medical reports for money from a murderer-


That bastard or that bitch, all the same.


That’s some motivation, ke ke ke ke. Not everybody can go and do volunteering. —


Society is also responsible when a smart person like this turns into a con artist. Get that man immediately into the Blue House.


You should have spent that time studying, you cheater.

청춘의 창:

Hey, he didn’t just trick women, he also fooled doctors when he went along on their volunteering trips. What is this insult against women in the comments? Is this how low our country has sunk? People who always insult women are no better than some bastard who claims to have graduated from Harvard! There’s no accounting for the level of intelligence in this country. It’s because of things like this that our country has the highest level of inequality between men and women among all developed nations, tsk tsk.

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  • Bryan Cheron

    It really says something about the psychology of some of the netizens when they make fun of and criticise the woman who was duped by this con man.

  • Bushido

    Korean way of life.

  • commander

    The swindle shows a catastrophic nature of marriage for fame and wealth.

    The dazzling light from a forged career trajectory, coupled with sleek words, clouded judgement of the fiancee and her family in what is supposed to be a marriage for love and affection built on mutual trust.

    If a prospective spouser is rich, intellectual and handsome or beautiful, it would be great, but that’s not a determinant in tying the knot and at best an auxillary element for happiness mutual chemistry, respect and care produce.

    The fraud victim is presumed to daydream of becoming a doctor wife–a status man women blindly covet– thinking that the money lent to him is a small amount of price to pay.

    But the disclosure of the swinder’s identification leave the victim of vanity with long-longering mental scar to her self esteem, a price that she will have to pay for the rest of her life.

  • Guest

    “Just as much of a cheapshit con artist as Tablo, who dropped out of the second year of elementary school because he couldn’t memorize his multiplication tables.”

    omfg. can’t believe people are still bringing up tablo. it’s been proven that he graduated from stanford.

    • Rrhian Avcarr Blade

      I know… I read that and now I’m livid.

  • terriblemovie

    Someone with a middle school education pretending to be a graduate of Harvard Medical school? Why stop there?

    He might as well go all the way and pretend to be the President of the United States.

  • wafflestomp

    Women marry for money all the time. When a guy does it he gets arrested :)

    • Mop

      They’ll only get arrested if they pull this sort of shit.

    • unyert

      I can’t believe such a sexist and stupid comment got so many upvotes. It just shows that koreabang readers are extremely backward thinking. Please, stay on 4chan. We don’t need you here.

  • bultak23

    Sounds a lot like narcissistic personality disorder.
    자기애성 인격 장애

    • David

      Says the guy pretending to be a Harvard trained Psychologist. ka ka ka just kidding.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Kind of like Leonardo Dicaprio in “Catch me if you can”!

    • jem

      Leonardo Dicaprio is just the actor. It was based on Frank Abagnale but yes it is almost the same I suppose.

    • markus peg

      He got inspiration from that movie.

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  • Guest

    Maybe he watched the movie “catch me if you can” and was inspired.

  • Rylee_Ann

    Holy Tajinyo are these netizens serious -_____-

  • holdingrabbits

    A middle school dropout convinced an entire family he graduated from Harvard medical school? Were they also middle school dropouts?

    • unyert

      He managed to fool doctors who are specialist, so fooling people who are not doctors is easy.

  • zachary T

    gah, that is a sad story. I feel bad for the woman and her family who were duped. I also am curious as to what this guy spent $50,000 on. also, just for your information, I AM an American citizen and I DID graduate University….just letting any nice Korean women on this website know…^_^

    • Mighty曹

      Be careful. You’ll become a scam target.

      • zachary T

        I was half joking. but thank you for the warning. ^_^

        • Scream_Writer

          I wonder which half of you was joking and which half of you was serious?

        • Mighty曹

          I was fully joking. :D

  • Scream_Writer

    A person like this probably lies about every single thing in his or her life. If asked, “What would you like for breakfast?” he or she will say, “Waffles” even if they really want eggs.

    • Mighty曹

      I want milk.

      • Scream_Writer

        Sorry, I only have light whipping cream.

        • Mighty曹

          Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.

          • Scream_Writer

            I embrace both the player and the game. It’s how you play that counts.

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  • Mighty曹

    Some con artists are just too smart for their own good.

    • Scream_Writer

      Takes one to know one?

  • Mai

    Typical lying koreans, pathetic.

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