Taiwan man pays $400 000 for croissant

A Taiwan scam victim paid 12-million Taiwan dollars (about $400 000) for a croissant which he never got to eat, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

The company executive, identified by his last name Chiu, fell for an internet advert promoting “French bread which is so delicious that it will make you cry”, the Apple Daily reported.

The photo showing a crispy croissant convinced Chiu to transmit 99 Taiwan dollars to the “bakery” through an ATM. But the company called saying he had made a mistake had to repeat the transaction.

He obliged, but more phone calls came, first from a “bank manager” asking him to repeat the transaction and then from someone who claimed to be a representative “from the Monetary Supervision Commission”, saying he must wire the money again because he had made a mistake and could be charged with money laundering.

Chiu transmitted a total of 12-million Taiwan dollars over seven transactions, before he realised he had been duped. And he never got his croissant.

Thousands of people in Taiwan fall for phone scams every year, despite police efforts to battle the crime.

Since 2004, an anti-scam hotline has received 3,7-million calls and handled 48 000 cases, the National Police Administration said. — Sapa-DPA

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