Fraudster claims to be US Consulate guard

A 53-year-old man has been detained for allegedly defrauding people by claiming to be a guard working at the US Consulate General in Shanghai, police said.

A 53-year-old man has been detained for allegedly defrauding people by claiming to be a guard working at the US Consulate General in Shanghai, police said on Tuesday.

One victim, a man surnamed Ni, paid the suspect over 70,000 yuan (US$11,060) to buy luxury watches and a car as the suspect allegedly claimed to have access to seized contraband goods at Customs.

Ni reported the suspect, surnamed Chen, to police in Songjiang District on March 9 after finding out that the watches he bought from him were fake.

Ni said he was introduced to Chen by Chen’s wife and had no doubts when told he works for the US Consulate General in Shanghai.

“He was wearing a seemingly US uniform, showed me a working pass with his picture and title on it and a ‘US green card’,” he recalled.

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Ni shows a picture from his mobile phone in which he is with Chen, who wears a uniform.

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Chen's "working pass," which was seized by police. 

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Fake Rolex watches Ni bought from Chen.

Chen’s wife, surnamed Li, who has been married to him for almost two years, said she had no idea that her husband was lying about his job the whole time, although she admitted to never having seen his salary.

“He left home at 7:30am sharp every morning on a work day, sometimes wearing a uniform and sometimes not,” she said.

Chen has been sentenced four times for committing fraud since 2000, and has spent about 10 years in prison, police said.

He is now located in the detention center in Songjiang District and has owned up about his actions, saying he bought the fake uniforms and identity cards from the Internet.

In another case, police in Jiading District said a woman surnamed Chen — no relation — has been detained for allegedly defrauding people by claiming to be a student in Britain and offering to buy luxury goods on their behalf from overseas.

Police said a few people fell victim to the suspect and lost over 100,000 yuan.


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