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Chinese man’s stolen identity leaves him 80 million yuan in debt, embroiled in 32 lawsuits

A Shenzhen resident found out his name has been involved in 32 lawsuits and 80 million yuan (HK$93 million) of debt after his identity was stolen and used by since 2012 to borrow money and open credit card accounts, mainland media reports.

Liu Hanting told the Southern Metropolis Daily he received a call from China Minsheng Bank Shenzhen branch in 2012, saying Liu owed the bank 370,000 yuan in overdraft on his credit card, although he said he never had a card with that bank.

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“The bank then gave the ID number, full name and my address, all of which were correct,” Liu said, adding that he later found out the all the registration material the bank had on file matched his information except for the photo, which was of “totally another person”.

Minsheng Bank had not replied to an interview request as of press time.

Shenzhen police identified one suspect as Liu Peiwei, who is being sought by police for contract fraud, the report said.

Liu Hanting’s identity was also used to establish a company in Shenzhen and raise funds through private loans, as well as to withdraw money from multiple credit card accounts opened in the victim’s name at several banks.

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The victim’s ID has been involved in 32 civil suits so far, with some already resolved.

Liu said he never received any subpoenas to appear before a court, and had not attended any court hearings.

“I don’t dare to own any assets,” Liu said.

Identity theft has been on the rise in China as individuals and organisations peddle personal information obtained illegally by hacking into the systems of banks or public institutions.