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August 18, 2009

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Cheats active ahead of city's big event

CITY police yesterday issued a warning to people intending to visit the 2010 World Expo - check the authenticity of promotions as cheats are active.

Police have caught a number of suspects and received many reports of swindling in the name of Expo.

They outlined four instances of fraudulent behavior:

Suspects claim to be Expo officials and ask victims to pay deposits for free Expo tickets.

Two months ago, a city resident surnamed Mei received a phone call from a man who claimed to be an officer of an Expo group offering free tours of the site during the 2010 event. The man asked for a deposit but Mei became suspicious and called police.

Suspects post false sales telephone numbers on Websites and defraud money.

Expo tickets became available for individual visitors on July 1. A day later, a resident surnamed Qiu found a sales hotline on a "famous" Web portal. Qiu called the number and paid 5,880 yuan (US$860) for 42 tickets, only to find that the ticket office was a construction site in Pudong New Area. Police inquiries continue.

Suspects pretend to be Expo officers to trade with other companies.

Last year, a man surnamed Li and another surnamed Zhang, posed as officials of a so-called "Shanghai World Expo Operation and Management Co Ltd." The two allegedly forged land-transfer contracts of a 4,000-square-meter plot of land in Pudong and swindled 60 million yuan. Li and Zhang are in police custody.

Expo construction contracts are forged to borrow money.

Last October a resident surnamed Mao claimed to be operating an Expo project which was short of capital and fraudulently borrowed 1.5 million yuan. Mao, 32, has been arrested.

"As the World Expo is approaching, swindling cases like these are more likely to happen," police said in the statement while suggesting people to check on Expo's official Website if uncertain about any information.

The official Website of World Expo 2010 is


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