THERE’S fake and then there’s fake.
Three farmers in central set up a fake bank and managed to bilk people out of $41.8 million. That’s right — a fake bank.
The ‘bank’, in Nanjing, has now been shut down by authorities but not before fooling almost 200 people since it opened in 2013. But how did a fake bank manage to convince hundreds of people that it was real?
Apparently, the fraudsters went to quite a bit of work to sell a persuasive package, reported NPR. It had all the accoutrements of a real bank — security guards, computers and LED screens that displayed real-time interest and foreign exchange rates, reported NPR.
One man, who said his name was Shan, told China National Radio that he had been duped for around $1 million. The man said when he first deposited the money, he’d almost immediately been paid $68,470 in interest. But when he went back for his money, it was gone.
China Europe International Business School’s Oliver Rui told NPR that Chinese depositors are easily fooled, which could explain why so many were taken in by a fake bank.
“People are not well-educated on financial services. People think as long as there is an office, looks like a bank and will provide the bank’s service,” he told NPR. “They want to earn high interest, but they don’t understand that the high interest usually comes with high risk.”
The people behind the fake bank are now in police custody.
Ameeta Parsuram ‘Meeta’ Psychologist, Poet & Lyricist