Chinese Artist Loses 6 Million Yuan in Fake Text Scam

According to the police, the con men sent the text message to Professor Li’ s cell phone under his bank’s name. When Professor Li received the message informing him of the deposit, he assumed it to be legitimate. (Nate Steiner / Flickr)
According to the police, the con men sent the text message to Professor Li’ s cell phone under his bank’s name. When Professor Li received the message informing him of the deposit, he assumed it to be legitimate. (Nate Steiner / Flickr)

Chinese art stolen easily by tech savvy thieves. Different types of scams are commonplace in China, with the latest being to use a fake text scam.

Three men who claimed to be employed by an art collecting company in Beijing arrived at the home of Professor Li, an artist, with an offer to purchase his artwork on Aug. 16. The two parties eventually reached an agreement whereby the company would pay Professor Li 6 million Chinese Yuan (RMB) for 20 paintings, approximately US$980,000.

The following day at noon, as the two parties were finalizing the sale, Professor Li received a text message on his cell phone informing him that the funds had been deposited into his bank account. Confident that he had in fact received payment, Professor Li turned the paintings over to the three men.

However, when he checked his bank account later that day, he was shocked to discover that no deposit had been made to the account. Realizing that he was a victim of fraud, Professor Li reported the incident to the police.

According to the police, the con men sent the text message to Professor Li’ s cell phone under his bank’s name. When Professor Li received the message informing him of the deposit, he assumed it to be legitimate. The crooks easily succeeded.

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