Group accused of seducing men out of over 8 million yuan

Police say suspects used a seductive online host to sweet-talk victims into sending money. Successful fraudsters allegedly earned as much as 100,000 yuan per week.
Group accused of seducing men out of over 8 million yuan
Minhang police

The suspects are apprehended during a raid on their office in Guangzhou on April 8.

Forty suspects have been apprehended for allegedly using a seductive online personality to defraud gullible men, Shanghai police said on Wednesday.

About 20,000 people have lost over 8 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to the fraudsters based in Guangzhou City, police said.

Police in Minhang District started their investigation last month when a local resident, a man surnamed Wan, reported that a female WeChat contact had stopped responding to his messages after he sent her about 10,000 yuan.

Wan said the woman went by the name “Yimeng” on a video-streaming website. After adding "Yimeng" on WeChat, she asked Wan for money to start a teahouse business.

"Yimeng" was also the name of a popular online show host, who sang for viewers every night, police said.

Smelling fraud, police apprehended “Yimeng,” a woman surnamed He, on April 7. The woman was said to have confessed to being part of a larger con organization involving dozens of people, all of whom used the "Yimeng" personality to talk men out of their money.

A suspect surnamed Wang, who is now under detention in Shanghai, said every fake “Yimeng” had 500 to 600 WeChat contacts, and successful users of this handle could convince men to send as much as 100,000 yuan each week.

The suspects were arrested at their office in Guangzhou on April 8.

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