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Instead of defrauding people only from the other end of the phone, telecom fraudsters have started to cook new episodes by hiring middlemen who come up to the victims in person to make the fraud story more credible.|
Such trick was discovered in a recent fraud case in Shanghai, and the middleman, a woman college student studying in Guangzhou City, turned out to be a victim herself, police said on Monday.
Police in Huangpu District started their investigation in late August after a retired woman surnamed Lang reported that a young woman who claimed to be working for police in Changsha city, Hunan Province, came to her home on August 21 and took 98,000 yuan (US$14,200) from her.
Lang said she received a call from a man who claimed to be a police officer in Changsha on August 20 and was told that she was a suspect in a money-laundering case. The “police officer” told her that his colleague will show her a warrant for her arrest the next day.
The “colleague” showed up on time with the “warrant” and took the money from Lang in cash and bank cards as well as her ID card in the name of investigation, police said.
Lang was told by the fraudster to keep her “case” to herself, but she couldn’t help but reveal that to her son after the fraudster called her again to ask for more money, and the son smelled fraud immediately, according to the police.
The young woman, surnamed Xie, 20 years old, was tracked down to Guangzhou, and was caught in September when she was about to fly to Shanghai again for another victim, police said.
The suspect is now under detention.
Xie claimed at first that she was assisting Changsha police in investigating cases and only later realized that she was a fraud victim herself and was utilized as a predator to fellow victims.
Xie said she received a call from a “police officer” in Changsha in early August who claimed that she was involved in a money-laundering case, and transferred 40,000 yuan to his bank account.
She was then told to “help” an old woman living in Shanghai who is a suspect in a similar case and was given 5,000 yuan to perform the task. She was also given a "working pass" indicating her identity as an “assistant officer” of Changsha criminal police with a promise that she will be eventually hired to work for Changsha police, police said.
The fake working pass Xie possesses
Xie said she transferred Lang’s money to a bank account as required by the “police officer” who stays in touch with her.
Xie is now under detention for fraud, and investigation is still underway, police said.