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Police crack Taiwan telemarketing gang
By Yang Yang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-01 01:27

Shanghai police busted a Taiwan gang suspected in a telemarketing scam and arrested 57 people.

Since February, Taiwanese people were lured to Shanghai by the promise of a job with a monthly salary of about 10,000 new Taiwan dollars (about US$300).

After their arrival, their effective certificates were immediately "taken care of" by company managers, also from Taiwan.

All of them had to live and work in rented apartments, scattered across three districts, Songjiang, Minhang and Changning.

"We were not permitted to go out unless we had a special excuse," one of the men arrested, surnamed Wu, said.

Once in the apartments, they were trained to perpetrate frauds.

Each of them had a "script" to teach them how to commit the crimes.

"Their target victims were Taiwan residents, especially those engaged in accounting and finance," said Guo Jianxin from Shanghai Public Security Bureau. Workers claimed to be conducting surveys or seeking company feedback to collect personal information from victims, including their names and addresses.

As part of the process , workers used Internet telephones to contact victims and the telephone numbers revealed were from Taiwan, to avoid arousing suspicion.

After gaining the trust of the victims, they would inform them that they had won a big prize but first they had to pay 20 per cent of the value of the prize in taxes. They then directed the victims to deposit the money directly into a bank account in Taiwan.

The money was then withdrawn at once by a Taiwan accomplice.

The victims, who were still waiting for a prize, were then told they would have to pay HK$100,000 Hong Kong (US$13,000) to join the Hong Kong Jockey Club, otherwise, they would not be able to collect the prize.

Local police hope as many victims as possible will contact police in an effort to track down anybody connected with the scam.

Kong Xianming, the deputy director of Shanghai Public Security Bureau said that Shanghai police would further strengthen their campaign against such crimes.

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