According to local media reports, a unit of the Fourth Precinct Police Department of Taichung City on Tuesday raided an apartment in Pei-t’un District and arrested a 33-year-old man surnamed Lin, who is believed to be the leader of the fraud ring. The police also detained 6 other individuals who allegedly took part in the scheme.
Taiwanese media reported that the 7 men signed up for a Chinese online dating site called ‘Shiji Jiayuan’. They made contact with ‘leftover women’, a Chinese term that describes unmarried women in their mid- to late thirties. They targeted well-off women who own their own flat and have a good income.
In order to lure their victims, they used pictures of handsome men and pretended to be engineers or bank managers. They frequently chatted with their victims on QQ, a popular Chinese instant messaging software.
It took them around one to two months to build up the relationship with their victims. They even called each other “husband” and “wife”, a common habit among unmarried couples in China and Taiwan who want to show to their partners their serious intentions.
When they had become familiar enough with their victims, the scammers began asking for money, citing various pretexts, such as that they wanted to apply for a visa to visit China, or that they needed to make an investment. The men managed to rack up hundreds of thousands of Taiwan dollars over a period of three months. Taiwanese tabloid Apple Daily reported that Lin is 180cm tall and weighs over 100kg.
The police seized the laptop, mobile phone and various documents found in Lin’s apartment. Lin and his accomplices were arrested on fraud charges.
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