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Bank card scam catches dozens

DOZENS of people in Ningbo have had money skimmed from their bank cards with one man losing 152,200 yuan (US$22,251).

The scam came to light when China UnionPay sent the victims automatic text messages late at night on May 9 saying money had been deducted from their accounts, the Qianjiang Evening News reported today.

Xu Jia, a factory owner, received a text message from UnionPay at 9:05am on May 10 saying there was a deduction of 20,000 yuan from his Agriculture Bank card. After he had other similar messages Xu checked his account and found there was only 54.86 yuan left. He collapsed crying – there had been 152,254.86 yuan in the account.

He called the bank's service center and found the transactions had been made in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province and he called the police.

Yesterday eight of the card theft victims, including Xu, went to an Agriculture Bank of China branch in Zhejiang Province asking for the return of their money.

The eight victims have discussed the case online but were told by the vice president of Agriculture Bank Ningbo Branch, a man surnamed Hu, that the bank could only return the money after the police solved the case as it involved five different banks in two cities.

The scammers had made copies of the bank cards. UnionPay in Ningbo has told its Shenzhen counterparts to help in the investigation and Hu said the criminals have been caught on camera.

Police are investigating and have reminded people to be careful when taking cash from ATMs.


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