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April 25, 2014

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18 people detained over credit card scam

A WOMAN who tried to apply for a credit card using someone else’s identity card has been detained by police after an eagle-eyed bank clerk spotted that the card belonged to his branch manager.

The incident, which happened in January at a foreign-invested bank in Xuhui District, sparked a broader police investigation, which has since led to 18 people being detained for various offenses related to fraudulent credit card applications.

The woman, surnamed Jin, told police she had been recruited by a man named Hu Yang to apply for credit cards using stolen ID cards. For each card she gave Hu she was paid between 100 (US$16) and 150 yuan.

Unfortunately for her, the ID card she used in Xuhui belonged to the bank manager who had lost it several months earlier.

With the help of Jin’s inside knowledge, police were able to locate Hu and he was arrested at a meeting scheduled with other gang members. The raid netted eight people, including Hu’s older brother and girlfriend.

Hu later told police he wanted the bank cards only to build up a good credit rating for his stores on, which would make them more attractive to customers.

He said he employed his relatives and people he contacted on the Internet to apply for the cards on his behalf.

Police confiscated 270 ID and more than 150 credit cards from Hu and other members of his gang. They said they suspected Hu was planning to use them not only to build his credit rating but also for nefarious purposes, such a telephone scams.

One of the last members of Hu’s gang to be identified was Xu Li, who was detained by police late last month. Her arrest led officers to a second group involved in similar activities.

Along with her husband, Xu, after not hearing from Hu — who had already been detained — began working for another man she found on the Internet. As before, she was required to apply for credit cards using stolen ID cards.

Her information helped police to zero in on the head of the second gang and several more people were detained. As of yesterday, the combined investigations had led to the detention of 18 people, police said.


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