Nearly $1 Million Stolen With Fake Cards Includes American Money

February 19, 2014 Updated: February 19, 2014

On Feb. 18, 28-year-old Sun Kuangzhao was tried at the Xihu District Court in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, for the theft of nearly $1 million, which he obtained through credit card forgery. During the trial, Sun unveiled a chain of identity theft that targets foreign card holders by forging the cards and drawing cash using the point of sale (PS) system, according to reports by Chinese state media. 

Sun, a middle-school graduate from Jiangxi Province, used two accounts belonging to his girlfriends to launder the money, according to the prosecutor. A sum of over 5 million yuan, or $820,000, had been stolen. 

The prosecutor said that around May 2013, a US credit card holder reported credit card fraud to UnionPay International. Its investigation found that the cards were all used in China, leading the Chinese police to Sun. Police uncovered stolen credit cards, blank bankcards, PS machines, and forged IDs from Sun’s current and ex-girlfriends’ apartments. The two women’s bank accounts contained a combined $648,000. According to them, the bankcards belonged to Sun.

Sun, who used to work for an investment company, taught himself how to commit the forgeries online, using search engines. He spent most of his money purchasing stolen ID cards, blank cards and card readers, and foreign credit cards holders’ personal information from foreign websites. 

Not knowing English didn’t slow Sun down. 

“The person will send me a link and that’s it, I just need to copy and paste,” said Sun. The information, which cost $40 to $70 per piece, was only genuine about 20% of the time, however. 

The prosecutor charged Sun with credit card fraud and asked for a ten-year sentence. The trial lasted four hours and the judge has yet to rule.