Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Police arrest fraud ring at Taichung hot spring resort

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Prosecutors yesterday said they plan to file charges after questioning five suspects in a new mobile telecom fraud operation who were arrested in a raid at a resort in Taichung’s Dakeng (大坑) area.

A man surnamed Lin (林) was identified as the leader of the group, which included three other men and one woman, all in their mid-20s, after police and judicial investigators raided the hotel on Wednesday, the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said in a statement.

“This group specializes in tricking Chinese into transferring money over the telephone,” the statement said. “Computer data and bank records showed that the group made illegal profits of about NT$10 million [US$341,763] in just the past two weeks.”

Lee Ming-li (李明立), a section chief at the Taichung Police Department’s investigation unit, told reporters that the group used new, more compact IT and communications equipment, and because it was more mobile, they were able to move to a new location every few weeks.

“We find it alarming that telecom fraud rings involved in wire scams have evolved into small, mobile teams that only require a handful of accomplices,” Lee said. “They no longer need to install heavy telecommunications equipment in homes and warehouses.”

Spread over three rooms at the hot spring resort’s hotel, officers recovered 29 4G SIM cards, seven modern routers, nine mobile phones, seven tablet computers and four notebook computers, along with accounting books and other evidence.

Lin’s group targeted Chinese who were traveling or staying abroad. The group members messaged them, pretending to be Chinese authorities investigating suspicious deposits or transfers into their victims’ bank accounts, investigators said.

The group then followed up by calling them, posing as prosecutors or public security officials requesting the targets’ cooperation as part of an investigation and demanding that they transfer money to designated accounts, which was collected from ATMs in Taiwan, the investigators said.

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