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Police warn of surge in fraud cases

Update: November, 26/2015 - 16:30

HCM Police on Sunday arrested five people, including a Taiwanese man, for allegedly impersonating as police officers to swindle people. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — HCM Police have warned that swindlers posing as law enforcement officials to appropriate money from victims appear to have made a comeback in recent months.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Cao Xuan Loi, deputy head of the police division of criminal investigation in economic management and positions of HCM Police, said yesterday that this kind of crime was being detected in Viet Nam since the end of 2013.

The criminals use different methods to cheat potential victims and request them to transfer money to designated bank accounts. For example, they told victims that the latter had to pay a phone charge and would have their services terminated if they did not pay the amount to the designated account.

Hundreds of people have been cheated of an estimated more than VND20 billion (US$889,000) with these methods.

HCM Police have arrested and prosecuted about 70 offenders, 15 of them Taiwanese nationals.

On Sunday, HCM Police arrested five people, including a Taiwanese man, for allegedly impersonating as police officers to swindle people.

The gang used fake ID cards and opened 64 bank accounts to obtain money from people by cheating them.

Earlier on November 9, police arrested four residents of Hai Phong and Quang Ninh on suspicion of having committed the same crime.

Swindlers often withdrew money in cities and provinces far away from the places where the victims lived, police said, adding that the majority of victims lived in HCM City.

It should be noted that the offenders were easily able to open dozens of bank accounts with the ID cards they collected.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCM City branch of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV), said due to a large number of customers in their database, it was difficult for commercial banks to detect fake ID cards.

The SBV would review regulations on the opening of bank accounts and order commercial banks to closely co-ordinate with the police on the matter, Minh said.

A representative of An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank said the bank blocked a VND1.3-billion (US$57,800) bank account of a victim when a bank officer detected a suspicious sign being made by a suspect.

Le Thi Tuyet Anh from HCM City's Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Corp said people should be vigilant while receiving calls reminding them to pay a phone bill.

She said the corporation didn't have that kind of service. Instead, post officials inform customers about the bill and provide them with an invoice after the payment. — VNS


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