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December 27, 2012

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Lottery prize scam fools 2,000 residents

THE leader of a ring that stole 360,000 yuan (US$57,679) from nearly 2,000 people in a lottery prize scam was charged with fraud, Qingpu District prosecutors said yesterday.

The suspect, surnamed Tan, is alleged to have bought the clients' information from an illegal vendor and hired eight people to make scam phone calls.

According to prosecutors, the eight salesmen pretended to be customer service employees and told the victims they won a set of skin-care products worth 1,880 yuan and a phone card worth 200 yuan in a drawing.

A victim, surnamed Ding, received a call in February saying he won the skin-care products. Ding was skeptical about the lottery after the salesman said he should pay a 199 yuan delivery fee. "What kind of skin-care products charge such a high delivery fee?" Ding told prosecutors.

But he finally couldn't resist the temptation after the salesman told him they would compensate him with a phone card worth 200 yuan.

Ding said the package arrived two days later and he paid 199 yuan. However, he soon found the card didn't work and his wife had skin irritation after using the skin-care products.

The eight salesmen were also charged with fraud yesterday. They said they were kept in the dark by Tan and didn't know what they did was a scam.


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