A new type of scam has been reported in Anhui and has duped several unlikely good Samaritans. According to reports, a well-dressed and handsome man driving a white BMW would park on the side of the road flagging down help (source: sohu.com).
Passerbys who stopped were told that his wallet was stolen and that he didn’t have enough money on him to eat or get more gas. He produces a driving permit, a phone number, and a WeChat ID, encouraging the help to contact him to receive back the borrowed money. The BMW, which was rented on a long-term lease from a company in Jiangsu, gave the scam artist credibility as it appeared that he would not have trouble giving back the money.
One such victim of the scam, Miss Wang, gave RMB 1,000 to the scam artist. Later, when she tried to contact the man, the phone number and WeChat id were both incorrect. She reached out the police when she realized she had been cheated.
The Zhuji County police tracked down and eventually arrested a suspect thanks to road video surveillance. The suspect was found with more than RMB 11,800 in cash in the trunk of his car. He traveled from place to place over the string of 20 days at a time and prepared phone numbers ahead of time. He cheated at least 300 people in this long line of fraudulent work.
Police have requested that if you believe yourself to be a victim in this crime to reach out via telephone number 188 8875 2676.
If you are asked by someone on the side of the road for help, offer to go with them to the gas station to pay for the full tank or to a place to eat to see their response. Someone who is really in this sort of situation would be happy for the help, though they would feel they are troubling you.
Additionally, you could research the WeChat id and phone number to make sure they are connected before agreeing to lend a helping hand. Most will have memorized a friend’s or family member’s contact details in case of emergency, and this could also be produced to transfer money to you directly first before handing over the loaned cash.
With the proper precautionary procedures, such scams should not prevent you from helping those in true emergency situations.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons