From left: Nguyen Thi Dieu Minh, Nguyen Tan Chuong and Phung Dinh Tan at a Ho Chi Minh City police station
Ho Chi Minh City police arrested two men and a woman Wednesday for allegedly running a fraudulent website that sold cheap electronic knock-offs to unsuspecting customers.
Phung Dinh Tan, 37, Nguyen Tan Chuong, 24, and Nguyen Thi Dieu Minh, 23, were detained pending an investigation into their alleged “misappropriation of property.”
On July 12 last year, the Ministry of Public Security’s Anti-Hi-tech Crimes Police Department (C50) received a written complaint from a woman named N.N.T.Hang residing in HCMC.
Hang claimed she'd been cheated by the website www.iphonehot.net.
Hang said the website introduced itself as based at Viettel's branch on Ba Thang Hai Street in HCMC’s District 10, and advertised a 60-percent discount on all products.
She then placed an online order for two iPhone 5s and a Canon 600D camera for VND25.8 million (US$1,223).
After transferring payment to the website’s, she was delivered two old Chinese-made toy tablets.
She called the website and claimed they'd made some mistake. A website employee said they would deliver her purchased items soon.
But they never came.
C50 received another written complaint from a man named H.N.Hung residing in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District, saying he bought a Canon 600D camera for VND8.5 million ($402) but was delivered a used Chinese handycam.
A woman named N.T.K.Chau residing in Nha Trang complained she bought two iPad minis worth VND12 million but was delivered two Chinese-made tablets.
C50 summoned Tan, Chuong and Minh for questioning. The trio admitted to their fraudulent acts.
Tan told police he bought some ID cards from a pawnshop and used the IDs to open accounts at three HCMC banks in December 2012.
He instructed Chuong to register the domain name www.iphonehot.net.
The website purported to sell brand-new products from famous companies such as Apple, Samsung, Canon and Sony at a 60-percent discount.
In July 2013, Tan then recruited Minh to work for the website.
Tan added the names and logos of Viettel’s branches on Ba Thang Hai Street in HCMC and Hai Ba Trung Street in Quang Ngai City on the website’s interface to gain the trust of potential buyers.
According to police, hundreds of customers were cheated out of VND7-30 million ($331-1,422) by the trio. Police say they made around VND1.5 billion ($71,106) from the scheme.
The search for victims remains underway.
“Victims should go to 324 Hoa Hung Street in District 10 (HCMC) or call 08 38623638 to report any fraud,” a police official told Thanh Nien.
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