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Seven suspects arrested over scam that ended in impoverished Chinese woman’s suicide

Authorities in southern China have arrested seven people suspected to be involved in a scam that led to the suicide of a young woman.

The 19-year-old woman, identified as Yanyan, drowned in the sea near her home in Huilai county, Guangdong province, in late August after being tricked out of nearly 10,000 yuan (HK$11,450) in a telecommunications scam, CCTV reported.

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According to a note she left, Yanyan received a text message saying she had won a lottery in July and, in order to claim the money, she paid 9,800 yuan in three deposits, as required.

She did not realise she had been cheated until she was told a fourth time to transfer money to a strange account.

The woman, whose family lives in poverty and who relied on the money to pay for her university education, called herself an “idiot” online for being tricked and became immersed in guilt.

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She went missing on August 28 and her body was found by the sea.

The news sparked sympathy from the online community and spurred calls for intensified efforts to crack down on telecoms scams.

The seven suspects were detained early last month and are awaiting trial.