Police in Ho Chi Minh City Friday arrested 56 foreigners on suspicion of cheating and hacking personal accounts of people in other countries.
According to initial information, the suspects, all Asian, came to Vietnam by various ways and moved to HCMC without registering for temporary residence with local agencies. The specific nationalities of the arrested people were not released.
Here, they asked Vietnamese residents to rent accommodations for them with Internet and phone services, police said.
They first posed as post-office staff, calling customers in Asian countries to ask for payment of their phone bills. They then told their victims that their phone numbers had been hacked, making charges increase drastically.
After suggesting the victims contact related agencies for help, they posed as the agencies' officials, calling the victims, saying that their accounts had been used illegally for money laundering.
They also asked the victims to transfer all of their money to another account with an agency for safety and investigation, failing which their accounts would be locked and the money lost.
The suggested account for receiving money, of course, belonged to the con gang, which would later withdraw all of it, according to the police. They were yet to determine how much money the ring has cheated people out of.
Police said they apprehended 39 of the suspects at an apartment in Nha Be District, and 17 others in District 7.
Investigations into the case are still under way.
Since last year, police in HCMC, Hanoi, and the southern provinces of Can Tho and Binh Duong have arrested some 150 foreigners who have used the same ruse to cheat people in other countries.
The ringleaders are believed to be based in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. Investigators say the crooks mainly target people in China and Taiwan.