Vietnamese police have busted a criminal gang that recruited people to work for fake e-commerce sites and then stole from them.
Criminal police under the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday that they cooperated with Cambodian authorities and arrested 23 suspects, who are all Vietnamese. The suspects will be investigated for “fraudulent appropriation of assets.”
Police said the suspects worked at a facility in Cambodia along with foreigners, whose nationalities were not revealed. All of their activities were carried out online.
An investigation showed that between March and July last year, the group recruited people to work online for e-commerce sites that illegally used the names of legitimate sites such as Shopee, Lazada, and Tiki.
In reality, the members of the ring created fake websites for the e-commerce sites to make collaborators think that they were actually working on real websites.
The job description said collaborators would be in charge of creating orders for certain shops on the fake sites.
As the ring told the collaborators, the purpose of creating orders was to trick real customers into believing that the online shops sold a lot of products, which in turn made shops appear reliable as in most cases, customers look at the number of products that have been sold to evaluate the quality of an online vendor. The collaborators believed that completely and thought they were really working for shops registered on legitimate sites.
In order to be hired collaborators had to first transfer a certain amount of money to the ring. After the collaborators transferred the money, the ring sent them a contract via Telegram, a popular app.
Then collaborators had to create accounts on those fake sites to make online orders.
The members of the ring would deduct from the sum of money that the collaborators had transferred whenever a collaborator successfully created an online order. As the ring advertised, collaborators would be paid commissions based on the number of orders they placed and the money spent to buy the products online would be refunded later.
Initially, the gang reimbursed the collaborators for some of the money they spent to buy the products along with some commissions, but after a few orders, they deleted the collaborators’ accounts on the fake sites and disappeared along with all the money that the collaborators had transferred.
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