Two men who managed to rake in around 360,000 yuan by exploiting a loophole in a popular Chinese booking website’s refund policy were detained cops.
In a promotion offered by the company, qunar.com, customers could receive a two to 10 yuan refund for booking a hotel through the website. Two suspects, surnamed Kuang and Zhang, realized that they didn’t actually have to check into the hotel to get the refund as long as they wrote a review about it on the website, and decided to milk the promotion for all it was worth.
You’ve got to admire the tenacity of these two guys, who went through the tedious task of posting bogus reviews for tens of thousands of hotel rooms across China for the rather paltry payoff of two yuan each time. Between September and November last year, they made more than 50,000 bookings and earned over 360,000 yuan in refunds. According to Shanghai police, the bookings were made through 70 fake accounts that had been linked up to fake bank accounts.
Eventually qunar.com caught on to the scam and contacted police. Kuang was tracked down and detained at his home in Zhoukou, Henan province in January and his wife turned herself in days later. Zhang finally turned himself in this month.
A woman in Shanghai was recently arrested for an equally ruthless scheme in which she purchased luxury goods on Taobao, pocketed them and then sent back fake versions to get a refund.