Taiwan police warns of Diablo III online fraud

Nearly 30 cases of fraud related to game sales reported in Taiwan since May release, chalking up NT$150,000 (US$4,994) in losses, says police.

The Taiwanese police says nearly 30 cases of online fraud related to the sale of Diablo III video game have been reported in the local market since its launch in mid-May.

In a statement Monday, the Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau said losses related to fraudulent online sales of the game amounted to about NT$150,000 (US$4,994). The popularity of Diablo III had led to the game being sold out at launch so many gamers were willing to risk being cheated of their money to buy the game online, it added.

The National Police Agency's anti-fraud hotline unit discovered criminals had used Facebook and online auction sites on the pretext of selling the game. 

The report cited Chen, 27, as an example of someone who lost money to fraudulent online sales. On May 16, Chen contacted a seller on Yahoo Taiwan's auction site through e-mail to inquire about a collector's edition of Diablo III which was tagged at NT$4,500 (US$150). The seller called back to tell Chen only one set of the game was left in stock and that he would need to transfer the funds immediately to secure the puchase. Chen transferred the money later that evening. However, the next day, Yahoo Taiwan's auction site sent an e-mail, informing Chen the seller was part of a fraud criminal ring.

The Taiwanese police cautioned the public to be on alert of online fraud. Users should only purchase from trusted buyers and choose to pay on product arrival, or use secure online payment methods such as the service provided by Yahoo, it added.

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