Eight suspects have been detained for allegedly defrauding people of several million yuan by selling them pets which they claimed to be of high breeds but turned out to be inferior stuff, Shanghai police said yesterday.
The Beijing-based gang delivered cheap or ill cats and dogs to over 100 customers who paid them for pets shown in pictures on the Internet, police said. Fifty others didn't receive anything at all.
Among those defrauded, at least four live in Shanghai. Minhang District police said they received a complaint at the end of last year from a woman, surnamed Zhou, who claimed that she was sold a wrong cat after paying 15,000 yuan ($2,280) for a Ragdoll.
Zhou said she lost contact with the seller and the online shop also disappeared.
The alleged leader of the gang, a man surnamed Yang, made a profit of 2.5 million yuan since 2013.
Police said Yang and his men carried out scam on taobao.com, China's largest online shopping site, and 58.com, a popular classified site in China.
The gang insisted that all payments be made via online pay tools and bank accounts to escape scrutiny from online shopping platforms.