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Man ‘conned out of 1.8m yuan in telecom fraud’

EIGHT suspects have been detained for defrauding a man living in Shanghai of about 1.8 million yuan (US$265,000), police said yesterday.

The man, surnamed Tai, received a phone call on June 7 from a person who claimed to be from a telecom company and told him that he was suspected of being a money laundering suspect by Zengcheng District police in Guangzhou due to a broadband service account he had opened there.

Although he didn’t have such an account in Guangzhou, he dialed the number of the police there that he was given by the person who called him, and was shown a “warrant” on a website with his personal information and photo on it, police said.

Tai hadn’t realized the number he was given was not the actual police number and he was frightened he may have unerringly committed an offense. When asked to open an account at a bank on Anshan Road, Yangpu District, in order to transfer money, he did so.

He was then asked to “log onto” a website via his bank account and to give his password, police said. Then money transfers were made several times on June 7 and 8 until all his savings in his bank accounts had gone. Investigation started after Tai called the police on June 9.

Police found that the money was first transferred to bank accounts in Sichuan and Heilongjiang provinces, and then to an account in Shenzhen, Guangdong, whose user was a man surnamed Zhen.

Four suspects were caught from Mianyang, Pengzhou and Harbin cities on June 16 and the rest were caught in Luohu District, Shenzhen, six days later.

A large amount of the money in Zhen’s account had been withdrawn, police said.

Yangpu District police, who were in charge of the case, said there was another telecom fraud case taking advantage of the online banking devices for money transfer this year.

In May, a woman surnamed Su who lives in Yangpu lost over 900,000 yuan to a person whom she got to know on an online dating website in a similar way, police said. They added the fraudster was based overseas.


 

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