Malicious phone call costs HCMC woman $72,000

By Quoc Thang   March 31, 2024 | 04:43 am PT
Malicious phone call costs HCMC woman $72,000
Nguyen Huu Thang Duong, Nguyen Duc Vuong Trong and Nguyen Tung Duong at a police station in HCMC. Photo courtesy of the police
Three Ho Chi Minh City people were arrested for posing as police officers to trick a woman on Zalo into updating her information, allowing them to steal VND1.8 billion ($72,606).

Nguyen Duc Vuong Trong, 33; Nguyen Tung Duong, 29; and Nguyen Huu Thang, 22 were arrested by HCMC police and cybersecurity police forces on Friday for appropriation of property by computer network, telecommunications network, or electronic devices.

The police received a report from a woman named Hong, in Thu Duc City, who said she received a call from people who called themselves police officers, asking her to update her information in the population database. They asked her to contact them on Zalo and sent her a link that requested her to provide personal information like her name and personal ID.

Hong later received several questions regarding her bank account, so she grew suspicious and stopped responding. Her bank accounts and credit cards were then stolen, resulting in the loss of over VND1.8 billion.

The police found out that VND1.3 billion of Hong’s money had been taken under control by a group of criminals in Cambodia, and then transferred to several different accounts. Hong's credit card information was used by Trong, Duong and Thang to shop online.

Trong and his accomplices confessed that in October last year, they became acquainted with a group of criminals in Cambodia. This group masquerades as authority figures to trick people into installing malicious applications and gaining control over their devices.

The criminals transfer the victims' money to different accounts to steal it. Credit card information would be provided to people in Vietnam, like Trong, to shop online, before selling the goods and giving the money to criminals for 10% as a bonus.

An investigation is ongoing.

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