Hot pot group-buying fraud suspect caught in Hangzhou
A 33-year-old woman living in Hangzhou, capital of the neighboring Zhejiang Province, has been detained for allegedly defrauding Shanghai residents in a group-buying scam amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai police said on Tuesday.
The woman surnamed Wang allegedly falsely claimed to be selling hotpot packs on the Internet and raked in good money from a few residents in Shanghai where restrictive preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are still largely in force.
Police in Putuo District started their investigation earlier this month after a woman surnamed Li filed a complaint.
Li, who organizes group buying in her residential complex, was introduced to Wang on WeChat at the end of April. Wang told her that she had access to hotpot packs of the famed hotpot restaurant chain "Haidilao."
Li paid 7,750 yuan (US$1,152) to Wang for 50 packs at 170 yuan each, with 15 yuan discount for each pack. However, Li never saw the promised delivery from Wang, who then went out of contact.
Police soon located Wang, and through their investigation, found that two other women in Shanghai had also fallen victim.
Wang was caught in Hangzhou last Saturday and has confessed.