Fraudsters in Guangzhou have developed another dick move to scam people out of their money, this time targeting cell phone carriers in need of a charge.
“I bought a charger at a railway station in Guangzhou, and it burned within an hour of using it. I opened it and was stunned, it was full of sand.” one resident said in reports.
According to local police, this is a new and increasingly popular fraud technique. This year, officers have busted more than 40 such fraud cases and arrested over 30 people for selling sand-filled chargers.
One resident surnamed Cheng was also a victim. In early December, 2013, he bought a mobile phone charger being sold beneath an overpass. “There was a noise like sand while I was shaking it. I’d only charged my phone once and that was it, it was broken,” he said.
The fake chargers usually contain a small battery or near-dead batteries, but the rest of the weight comes from the sand. “Because there is a battery inside, I couldn’t sense anything unusual when tried it out for the first time, and it charged properly for couple of minutes.” Zeng Zhijian, a local police chief said. But after the small amount of battery was used, it stopped charging. Zeng said there’s even a chance that the charger could explode.
Criminals hit the jackpot when they decided to target the many railway station passengers in need of a charge, and were able to get 30 for each fake charger that they sold.
Zeng added that the market price a charger is at least hundreds yuan, so passengers shouldn’t get keen on gaining petty advantages from buying goods on the side of the road.
By Isabel Quan