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Chinese man arrested for phone scam that drained bank account of millions of yuan in less than 10 minutes

A man in southern China has been arrested for allegedly making off with millions of yuan from a woman in a phone scam – all in less than 10 minutes.

Chen Fujin, 37, took more than 8.8 million yuan (HK$10.2 million) from the bank account of the woman in Quanzhou, Fujian province, in January, news portal Qzwb.com reported.

In less than 10 minutes after obtaining the woman’s bank account details, Chen and his accomplices transferred all the money in the account to more than 120 accounts of their own.

In September, Chen fled to Macau where he entered illegally, but was caught and repatriated to Zhuhai, Guangdong province. Police arrested Chen on Sunday and escorted him back to Fujian.

How rampant phone scams highlight China’s need for tighter privacy laws

Fujian has been a major hub in China for phone frauds.

Police cracked 1,393 cases of phone scams in Quanzhou from the start of the year to September 20 – a 59 per cent increase from the same period last year – according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

A total of 1,099 suspects were punished and 819 bank accounts were frozen by the authorities.

Phone fraud still rampant in China despite massive crackdown

The scammers usually ask potential victims for their bank account information by posing as officials or police.

Quanzhou authorities would launch another campaign against phone scams from October to December, Xinhua reported.