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October 19, 2011

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Waiters in card scam to fund start-up

TWO waiters who stole credit card details from customers in order to raise cash for a business start-up have been jailed, Zhabei District People's Court said yesterday.

Zhang Jiao and Chen Yanming were jailed for forging credit cards using stolen information and gaining illegal profits of more than 20,000 yuan (US$3,134).

They received sentences of four years and three months and three years and six months, respectively.

Zhang, 20, from Shaanxi Province had gained Internet fame after submitting his college entrance examination paper unanswered in 2010.

He had also vowed to become "the Chinese Bill Gates" and earn a fortune, the court heard.

Hunan Province native Chen, also 20, met Zhang through the Internet and persuaded him to get money to start a business through forging credit cards.

The pair came to Shanghai in September 2010 and lived in Minhang District.

They bought a credit card magnetic strip information collector for 2,300 yuan from 26-year-old Xu Hunan, a local IT company employee.

Using fake ID cards, Zhang and Chen were employed as waiters in a hotel in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

They would swipe unsuspecting customers' cards on the collector, and to get the PIN number, one would watch a customer input the number while the other created a distraction by chatting or clearing the table.

They returned to Shanghai a month later and forged credit cards using the information they had stolen.

In December they bought goods in Zhabei District and the following month withdrew cash in Hunan Province.

Victims alerted police in January and Zhang and Chen handed themselves in. Officers seized 13 forged cards.

Xu, who sold them the information collector, was apprehended later and sentenced to one year in prison with one year's probation.


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