Six suspected fraudsters were arrested in eastern China’s Anhui province after they posed as Hong Kong businessmen in order to trick university students into giving them money.
The suspects, all from Wuhe county in Anhui, were arresed on Thursday last week after taking more than a million yuan (US$153,700) from their victims, Apple Daily reports.
Police said they wore fake Rolex watches and spoke Putonghua with a strong Cantonese accent to pretend they were businessmen from Hong Kong.
Earlier, police officers received a report from a 19-year-old university student, surnamed Chen, who said she was cheated by a man in his 20s in a shopping mall in Hubei.
The man approached her, said he was from Hong Kong and asked if he could borrow her phone to make a call.
After using the phone, the man thanked her and offered to buy her a cup of coffee.
At the cafe, he introduced himself as a sales representative of a Hong Kong company.
He said he had a friend with urgent medical needs. However, he could not use his Hong Kong debit card to withdraw money in the mainland.
So he asked the woman if she could lend him her bank account to transfer the fund.
Chen agreed and, after a few minutes, she received a text message from HSBC saying 10,000 yuan had been successfully transferred to her bank account.
Having received the message, Chen agreed to lend 3,000 yuan to the man.
The man promised he would return her the money the next day. The next day came, but the man didn’t arrive at their meeting place.
Police investigation resulted in the arrest of the suspect and his companions in Anhui.
During interrogation, the group, comprising five men and a woman, confessed to committing fraud in various places including Hubei, Hunan and Guangxi.
So far, the group had been able to take more than 1 million yuan from their victims, they said.
They said they had practiced speaking in Cantonese by studying a book titled Learning Cantonese Fast in order to make their schemes more convincing to their intended victims.
If they learned their targets had no bankcard or cash in hand, they would use their fake Rolex watches as collateral in exchange for their victims’ more expensive smartphones.
Police said 80 percent of their victims were university students.
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