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Dalian teen scammed out of thousands in phony fan group scheme

By Quan Zhanfu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-21 22:06

A 13-year-old girl in Dalian, Liaoning province, became the victim of a social media scam targeting celebrity fan groups, according to local media reports.

The girl, surnamed Zheng, was reportedly lured into a fan group on the QQ platform with promises of exclusive content and merchandise. Soon after joining, an imposter posing as a police officer from a fictitious "Beijing supreme public security bureau" infiltrated the group.

The scammer claimed that someone had leaked private information about the celebrity, fabricating a crime and demanding cooperation from all group members. Zheng, fearing legal repercussions for herself and her parents, followed the fake officer's instructions, including providing personal financial information of her parents.

The imposter then tricked Zheng into transferring over 60,000 yuan ($8,300) from her mother's bank account under the guise of verification, promising a return after the investigation. The scammer employed manipulative tactics, such as instructing Zheng to delete transaction confirmations and presenting fabricated evidence like a fake police report and a photo of a detained child.

Only late at night did Zheng's mother discover the scam after noticing suspicious transaction messages. The family immediately contacted the police.

Authorities are investigating the incident. This case bears resemblance to a similar scam reported last year in Haining, Zhejiang province, where another 13-year-old girl lost over 358,000 yuan to a fake police officer impersonation within a fan group.

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