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Young migrant workers targeted in phone scams

By Zha Minjie (Shanghai Daily)

08:10, October 19, 2012

YOUNG migrant workers are becoming new targets of telephone scams that include everything from matchmaking to lucky draws, police said.

Perpetrators take advantage of the workers as many are eager to make more money and send it home, officers said.

Police said the workers, usually young, "lack social experience even though they are familiar with new stuff like the Internet."

In September, a young man was cheated out of more than 37,000 yuan (US$5,917), which is how much he earns in a year, after he received an e-mail claiming he won a prize from the popular TV reality show 2012 Voice of China.

"I was told I won 58,000 yuan and a computer," said the man, surnamed Xiao.

However, the scheme gradually unfolded as Xiao was told he needed to pay thousands of yuan in fees to cover tax and insurance.

Despite paying the fees, Xiao still did not receive the prize. He also went to an ATM to input so-called verification codes to collect the prize after giving his ID and bank account numbers to the perpetrator.

Later he found all the money in his account had been transferred.

"It was not until then that I realized I was swindled," Xiao said.

The case is still under investigation.

Also yesterday, Qingpu District police said they stopped a potential scam involving 40,000 yuan in which a man said he received a phone call claiming he had been caught for transporting drugs.

He called police, who told the man the caller had tried to cheat him.

Police have busted about 400 telephone-related scams so far this year.

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