Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Police warn public against indulging in illegal transactions

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Police yesterday urged cash-strapped people to apply for bank loans through legal channels instead of swiping their credit cards for nonexistent purchases to get quick cash from illegal underground banks.

Officials from the National Police Agency's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said many underground banks use newspaper ads to attract credit card holders in urgent need of cash.

LOAN SHARKS

These "banks," which disguise themselves as retail firms, are actually loan sharks, CIB officers said. The officials said the firms make card holders sign false purchase slips and then withhold up to 20 percent of the total value of the transaction, giving the balance to the card holders in cash.

This practice only makes things worse for credit card debtors, officials said, because they end up in even greater debt.

The officers said that since March this year, the CIB has worked with the Financial Supervisory Commission to crack down on illegal underground banks.

CRIMINAL

They warned credit card holders who participate in such schemes that they are not only paying high interest rates, but also committing fraud, forgery and violating the Business Accounting Law.

Earlier this month, CIB agents working with police in Miaoli County cracked a fraud ring that boasted pioneering the "quick cash" scheme in Taiwan.

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