Input: Yu Pin
Source: By CAO YIN | chinadaily.com.cn
A Beijing court said on Thursday that its successful fight against frauds targeting elderly people will be stepped up.
From 2015 to 2018, Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court concluded more than 20 criminal cases related to frauds in which more than 100 senior citizens lost a total of about 100 million yuan ($14 million).
Fraudsters often lured the elderly by offering them free healthcare lectures or physical checkups, "but then persuaded them to buy related medicines that were expensive", said Chen Shengtao, deputy chief judge of the court's No 2 Criminal Division.
In 2016, for example, a man surnamed Wang was fined and jailed for swindling more than 80 old people out of more than 1.8 million yuan by selling them medicines, Chen said.
"Wang not only exaggerated the effect of the medicines, telling the victims that their illnesses, such as diabetes, could be cured within three months if they took them, but also faked the identities of some doctors to make the elderly trust him more," he said.
Many old people were worried about their health, "so some cheaters, such as Wang, made use of this point to get illicit money," Chen said.
Some other fraudsters cheated senior citizens by luring them to join fake investment schemes, the court said in a statement.
A defendant surnamed Guang was jailed for life after he defrauded more than 40 elderly people out of more than 70 million yuan through a fake investment scheme between 2014 and 2018, it said.
"Guang told the victims he had an overseas investment project that would bring higher returns," Chen said. "He even lured some old people to invest by mortgaging their houses."
All the money Guang obtained from the victims was used for gambling, he said.
He Lian, a judge's assistant from the division, said senior citizens were a major target in fraud-related cases, even though some had been warned not to readily believe calls, sales pitches or promotions from strangers.
He called for young people to share information about new types of frauds with their parents in a timely manner to prevent them from being cheated.
"Stricter supervision of medicines and funding is also a necessity," he said, suggesting the country also draft laws on personal information protection as quickly as possible.