Tue, May 06, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Woman loses most of her life savings to scam team

DUPED Police said that while post office clerks told the woman she was being cheated and not to transfer NT$4.75 million from her account, she insisted on it

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A woman from Kungliao Township (貢寮), Taipei County, has lost most of her life savings after being defrauded by a fake prosecutor.

Police said the victim, identified as a 53-year-old woman surnamed Yang, received a telephone call a few days ago from a man claiming to be a Taipei prosecutor’s assistant.

The man said prosecutors were investigating a bank embezzlement case and that criminals might have embezzled the money in one of her bank accounts, she told the police.

The man told her that a prosecutor would call her in a few minutes.

Police said Yang then received a call from a man who claimed to be a prosecutor who said his name was Huang Ho-tsun (黃和村).

“Huang” said he wanted Yang to transfer her money to another account for security reasons, and she could reclaim the money after prosecutors completed their investigation.

Police said Yang then went to a local branch of the post office to take out her NT$4.75 million (US$155,000) in savings.

The post office clerks, suspecting Yang was being cheated, told her not to transfer the funds and report the case to police.

But Yang insisted that she wanted to transfer the funds, police said.

Yang finally transferred the funds to another financial institution, then went to the location to transfer the funds into the criminal’s account.

The financial institution did not warn Yang about the dangers involved in such a large transfer, police said.

Upon returning home Yang discovered she had been cheated, and she reported the case to police.

Police said Yang was very upset with herself for falling for the criminals’ scam.

Officers said that such “fake prosecutor” scams are rampant at the moment because many people tend to believe in the authority of law officials.

They said that prosecutors or police officers would never ask people to transfer funds or take money from a bank account, and warned the public not to fall for such scams.

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