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China: Around The Nation

Chinese woman pours cola into ATM in phone scam

Woman duped into thinking pouring soft drink into cash machine would help her claim money back, newspaper reports

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 May, 2017, 4:24pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 May, 2017, 5:28pm

A woman in southern China was arrested for pouring a soft drink into an ATM machine after she was duped by telephone scammers into believing it would help her claim money back, according to a newspaper report.

The woman, 33, whose name was not given, lost 5,000 yuan ($728) because of the scam in November, the Chongqing Morning Post reported.

She was told by a fraudster, who pretended to be a police officer from Beijing, that her personal data was vulnerable to leaks and she was instructed to transfer her money to a designated bank account so officers could “protect” her personal information.

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When she called the fraudster the next day on how she could retrieve the money, she was told she would be able to get a refund receipt by pouring a cola drink into the ATM machine.

She only realised she had been scammed after nothing came out of the machine. She then asked a nearby traffic police officer for help, according to the report.

Months later she was arrested for her unwitting act of vandalism.

Pouring the soft drink into the ATM cost the bank 60,000 yuan in losses, according to the article.

Police are investigating her case and will decide on what penalties she should receive.

The woman is originally from the Guangxi region of southern China and lives in Chongqing with her husband, taking care of her two children.