Chinese police have caught 118 suspects believed to have swindled seniors out of nearly 20 million yuan (around 3 million U.S. dollars) through selling healthcare products, authorities said Wednesday.
The fraud ring organized health lectures and promised free prizes and vacations to methodically earn the trust of the elderly, according to Wenzhou city police in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
The swindlers then hornswoggled the victims into purchasing costly healthcare products with false advertizing, and promised to return the cash. When the victims paid the money, the suspects ran away, police said.
Police said the fraud was masterminded by Changsha Yunyi Technology, a company based in Hunan Province. So far, police have solved 520 cases of seniors being targeted by the fraud ring across the country.
Further investigation is underway.
Police said that seniors usually have money and property, and were interested in products promising to improve their health, making them targets for fraud.