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Shanghai police bust fraud ring involving 20 people in 7 Chinese cities

Police in China have busted a fraud ring that had duped an undisclosed number of male victims out of a combined 300,000 yuan (US$42,000) by scamming each individual out of a small amount of money.

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Police in Shanghai arrested 20 members of the network from seven cities across the country.

The gang had successfully flown under the radar because each victim typically lost a few hundred yuan (tens of US dollars), meaning they were less likely to report the crime to the police.

The racketeers posed as women seeking relationships with men, then manipulated them into giving them money to fund their fake lifestyles.
woman social media

The authorities were tipped off in September by a man, surnamed Liang, who said he lost 1,000 yuan (US$140) to a “woman” identifying herself as Xiaoling.

Liang said he got to know Xiaoling through a dating website and soon fell in love with her because she gave him the impression of being a “sweet younger sister”.

They began a romantic online relationship and Liang sent her money for meals, snacks, clothes and taxi rides. He said he would give her money without hesitation.

But when Liang proposed to have a visual chat with Xiaoling, she always refused, giving all kinds of excuses. The couple had never met in person.

To confirm his suspicions, Liang asked Xiaoling some questions to verify her identity, which resulted in “her” blocking him.

According to police, Xiaoling is in fact a man from a fraud group that fabricated normal-looking links to send to their victims, with payments being transferred to the fraudsters’ bank accounts.

“Their modus operandi is cheating many people out of small sums of money. Because each victim usually only lost a few dozen or hundreds of yuan, they thought it would be too troublesome to report the crime to the police. They told themselves they were just unlucky,” an officer was quoted as saying.

Romance scam cases often trend on mainland social media.

Earlier this year, a man in Shanghai was cheated out of 700,000 yuan (US$98,000) by a 39-year-old single mother posing as a “young and rich girl” in her 20s.

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