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December 11, 2009

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Beware swindlers selling over the phone

THE local consumer watchdog is warning people to beware of phone cheats.

The Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection said they had received five complaints about the Shanghai Dongya International Shopping Co Ltd, saying the company promoted fake and low-quality products over the phone.

Swindlers targeted consumers outside Shanghai after collecting personal details through shopping Websites and TV shopping companies, and claiming they were staff members.

A customer surnamed Huang in Jiangsu Province said he bought a GPS through a TV shopping company six months ago. Recently he received a call from a man who claimed to be an after-sales official with the company. The man was promoting a cell phone and Huang sent 2,000 yuan (US$173) to a designated account, but received a low-quality copy and a receipt from the Dongya company.

Huang dialed the number for a refund, but was refused. When he called the TV shopping company to complain, he was told the company had never sold such a phone.

After an investigation, the watchdog discovered that the company didn't exist.

Officials said they had now warned Websites and shopping companies about keeping customers' details private.


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