City police nab food delivery scam gang

Chen Huizhi
The four suspects registered accounts for a fake restaurant and delivery man to trick customers into revealing their online payment codes, police said.
Chen Huizhi

Four suspects have been arrested for allegedly stealing money from the bank accounts of people who ordered food from a delivery service, Shanghai police said yesterday.

Using a loophole of the service’s website, the suspects allegedly registered accounts for a fake restaurant and a fake food delivery man.

They used the scam to get clients’ online paying codes for an online payment service and then charged them up to 1,000 yuan (US$157) through the fake restaurant’s account on the website, police said.

The food delivery service reported to the police in Putuo District earlier this year that it had received a number of complaints of fraud from customers.

The users said they placed orders with the service, but did not get their food. Instead, money disappeared from their accounts.

Police said over 50 people from Shanghai had lost tens of thousands of yuan in total.

The four suspects were later caught in four different locations of the country and confessed.

The suspects said they met through Internet gaming and discussed the scheme over the internet, without ever meeting in person.

A suspect surnamed Meng discovered the online loophole and enlisted the help of the other three. Meng also played the role of the fake delivery man.

Meng said he made the clients reveal the payment codes by saying the ordered food is not available or more money was needed to pay for the food delivery boxes.

The online payment tool allows paying with codes only and without passwords when the amount is under 1,000 yuan, according to the police.

Police declined to name the food delivery service or the online payment company, but said the loophole had been fixed.

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