Shanghai police make arrests over credit card fraud

The suspects allegedly stole information of over 2,000 credit cards with rigged POS machines, created fake cards and withdrew money or made purchases in China and overseas.

Over 30 suspects have been arrested for credit card fraud of over 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million), Shanghai police said yesterday.

The suspects allegedly stole information of over 2,000 credit cards with rigged POS machines, created fake cards and withdrew money or made purchases in China and overseas.

Shanghai police claimed it was the largest credit card fraud case they had solved.

Investigations started in November 2016 when a resident in Huangpu District filed a police complaint claiming that he had lost about 200,000 yuan from his debit card, which was used by an unknown person to purchase things in Hong Kong.

The fraud started with illegal application for POS machines and technical rigging on the machines, police said.

The suspects allegedly applied for POS machines with fake business registration documents and inserted a thin film under the keyboard and a chip. When a customer presses the keys to enter the password, the film transmitted the information to the chip.

The POS machines were placed in supermarkets, fashion outlets and entertainment venues around the country and delivered back to the suspects with stolen credit card information which was then read into fake cards, the police said.

“Some shops accepted the POS machines because the suspects didn’t charge extra fees and settled the accounts with cash after a certain period,” said Xu Qin, an official of Shanghai Economic Crimes Police.

Besides Hong Kong and Macau, the fake cards were used to withdraw money and purchase goods in a few provinces in China and abroad including the US, Canada, Thailand and Myanmar, police said.

Eleven suspects have been handed over to a procuratorate in Shanghai, while 23 others wait for their trial.

A man surnamed Li is one of the two suspects who are from Hong Kong.

Li has reportedly admitted that he used fake credit cards given to him by another person to purchase gold accessories and mobile phones in Hong Kong and sell them for money from mid-2016 to mid-2017.

“We made a deal that for every usable card, I would give them 70 percent of the credit limit in cash,” he said.

Li said half of the cards given to him didn’t work.

The suspects were caught from over 20 locations in six provinces, police said.

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