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September 20, 2017

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CIB arrests 15 in online used car sales fraud bust

TAIPEI - The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested 16 persons allegedly running an online used car sales fraud scheme in June and September.

According to the CIB, the suspects advertised on a famous auto sales website the sales of used luxury cars for extraordinarily low prices. One group of suspected scammers would first require victims drawn by the ads to pay a down payments for their orders. Then another group of fraudsters would post as accountants, legal professionals or insurance company personnel and trick the victims into wiring money to dummy accounts they provide under the pretense of processing vehicle ownership transference or of cooking the books. In order to gain the victims' trust, the scammers would give them the bank passbooks, debit cards or seals of the dummy accounts.

As soon as the scammers receive the money, they would wire it away to other accounts via online banking service or by making withdrawals in person at banks. In 2017 alone, the fraudsters have scammed more than NT$20 million from over 20 victims, the CIB said.

Under the direction of Taichung District Prosecutor Chen Long-xiang, a task force comprising officers from the ninth Corp. of the CIB and the fourth precinct of the Taichung Police Department launched a monthslong investigation that led to two arrests in June and September, apprehending 16 persons and seized 12 cellphones as evidence. The authorities are also pursuing other suspects in the scam.

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