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May 8, 2010

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Police catch suspect in volunteer fraud scam

A WOMAN has been detained for allegedly starting a fraud scheme in the name of recruiting World Expo volunteers, police said yesterday.

The suspect surnamed Zhou pretended to be a supervisor of Expo volunteers. She posted ads online to recruit volunteers, charging each candidate a deposit of as much as 100 yuan (US$14.64), Yangpu District police said yesterday.

Zhou started the scam last month and fooled about 80 victims before being caught, police said.

"She is very familiar with the volunteer system," an officer from the Kongjiang Road police station said.

After posting on Websites, Zhou contacted the victims through QQ, the most poplar chat software in China, to arrange a meeting and collect the deposit.

"When I met her, I saw a lot of application forms," said one victim who asked not to be named. "They had already been filled out. It made me feel safe as I thought many people had already applied for the jobs."

Officers said that Expo volunteers are only being recruited by the Expo authorities and organized by college volunteer stations. They also reminded people that candidates will never be charged any fees.


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