China: Around The Nation

Expecting mother nearly loses savings to shopping site con man

Fraudster had victim’s phone number and details of online purchases, and soon had ID and bank accounts numbers too

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 5:41pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 5:41pm

Sichuan – A pregnant woman in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu came close to being cheated out of her savings to raise her child while shopping online, a local newspaper reported.

On August 24, the woman surnamed Wang, received a call from a man claiming to be a customer service officer from the e-commerce website who said the shoes that she had purchased a day earlier were defective and offered to refund her money, the West China City Daily reported.

The caller then directed Wang to a “refund website” that appeared similar to the real, where she typed her bank account number and personal ID number, but soon logged out, fearing it was a hoax.

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A few minutes later, she received a text message on her phone saying that her savings of about 100,000 yuan, which she had set aside for raising the child she was expecting in September, had been transferred, the report said.

Later the man called Wang several times, imploring her not to call the police and promising to return the money by August 29.

But soon Wang received another two messages saying that her money had been transferred to a newly registered account with a financial management company – by then Wang realised that she had been defrauded and reported the loss of her card to her bank.

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But Wang didn’t stop there. Realising that the fraudster had used her identity and bank account number to open finance company account, she logged in and tried to change the password of to transfer her money back. But that step required a new password that she didn’t know. On August 26 she found the man tried to withdraw money from the account but failed.

A customer service officer from Mogujie.con was quoted as saying that the website would never disclose users’ information or ask them to log on to other websites such as the phoney refund site that was given to Wang.

The financial management company suggested that Wang contact the police and will keep her savings in a secure place while the matter is sorted out.

The report did not mention how the man might have obtained Wang’s telephone number or details of her online purchases.