News outlets have recently been filled with reports on Jeon Chung Jo, the ex-fiancé of South Korean Olympic fencer Nam Hyun Hee. Recently, he has become a hot topic online due to his text messages.
It all started when it was announced that Nam Hyun Hee planned to get married to Jeon Chung Jo, who was allegedly a third-generation heir of a conglomerate, a former equestrian, and a successful businessman from the United States.
However, things quickly took a turn when reports announced that everything Jeon Chung Jo said was a lie. He was not the heir of a conglomerate—in fact, it was revealed that his father was a scammer who was wanted by the police.
Jeon Chung Jo, like his father, turned out to be a fraud as well. On October 26, JTBC revealed some of the text messages sent by Jeon Chung Jo during the process of approaching and building a friendship with a businessman in order to scam him.
Claiming to be a third-generation chaebol or wealthy conglomerate, Jeon Chung Jo sent messages in a mix of English and Korean, pretending to be from the United States. In a simple conversation, asking if he could come over and stating he was trustworthy, he mixed English words randomly into the sentence as if he couldn’t speak Korean fluently.
‘Ok…’ Then ‘Next time,’ I will visit you.
I asked ‘wife’ if I can go and she said ‘ok’ so I asked you. ‘But’ if you’re with ‘your friend,’ then ‘I am’ trust~
— Jeon Chung Jo
The random use of English made no sense in Jeon Chung Jo’s sentences, as people who are not fluent in Korean would use English words to substitute difficult words like “trust” instead of “I am.” Because of this blatant attempt at sounding like a U.S.-born Korean, the phrase “I am trust~” has been widely used and circulated online as a meme.
Various communities and comments are now filled with phrases derived from “I am trust~.” In addition to news outlets using this phrase in their article titles, even companies started using this way of speech in their advertisements. For example, the Korean social commerce platform Wemakeprice used the phrases “I am special discount~” and “There’s no ‘next time’~!” in their advertisement.
Even BTS member RM hopped on this trend by using this phrase in a recent Instagram story. Upon arriving in Korea from overseas, he was pictured by the news outlet Newsen. RM posted this photo on his story along with the caption that translates into “‘I am’ in Korea~.”
According to reports, Jeon Chung Jo is known to have received money from the businessman he used the phrase “I am trust~” on and others under the pretext of fraud after building friendships with them. He was arrested on charges of stalking while attempting to marry Nam Hyun Hee. Shocking news about Jeon Chung Jo is being revealed regularly, such as how he is currently being investigated for beating a child with a golf club.