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June 13, 2012

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3,000 victims lose US$13.9m in bogus get-rich-quick schemes

MORE than 260 suspects in eight rings have been accused of operating get-rich-quick gold investment schemes in which the 3,000 victims were relieved of more than 87 million yuan (US$13.94 million), Shanghai police said yesterday.

Tricked by advertisements online, many victims said profits were guaranteed from so-called "virtual transactions."

One victim, surnamed Bian, said she even went to one of the company's offices based in Songjiang District.

"The decoration there was high-end and the staff seemed to be working very hard," said Bian, noticing the so-called brokers were busy receiving phone calls and conducting what appeared to be trades on their computers.

Fully convinced, Bian offered up 30,000 yuan. But she lost all the money within two days after she took a so-called analyst's advice.

Bian called the police after the broker suggested she invest more and used the high risk of markets as an excuse.

In such well-organized gangs, hired "brokers," after some basic financial knowledge training, call and hook the victims by promising huge income, said police. The analysts then suggest more investment, which ends up in many bank accounts owned by the rings.

In one case, a person was cheated out of nearly 2 million yuan.

It's the brokers who realize the big profits, earning up to 20,000 to 30,000 yuan a month from their illegal schemes, police said.


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