Man detained in Wechat purchase scam

A local man allegedly defrauded three people out of about 21,000 yuan (US$3,180) by playing a purchasing agent based in the US, Shanghai police said on Friday.

A local man allegedly defrauded three people out of about 21,000 yuan (US$3,180) by playing a purchasing agent based in the US, Shanghai police said on Friday.

The suspect, surnamed Chen, has been detained.

Chen told his friends on Wechat that he had a sister living in the US who offered purchasing services, but the so-called sister was actually Chen himself operating with another account, police said.

Convincing the victims that the agent was located in the US by posting photos taken there, Chen offered to purchase iPhones from the US for buyers in China.

Police in Jinshan District started investigation after receiving a report from one of the victims on November 19.

The victim, a college student surnamed Zhao, said she paid 11,560 yuan to the agent for two iPhone X phones, but after a few days both the agent and Chen became out of touch and she hasn’t yet received the phones.

Zhao said she got to know Chen earlier when searching for friends on WeChat, and Chen mentioned “his sister in the US” to her when they had dinner together on November 4.

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