Honest China woman shocked by US$310,000 cash transfers, returns the lot to rightful owner

Honest China woman shocked by US$310,000 cash transfers, returns the lot to rightful owner The elderly recipient of the unusual transfers had never used a mobile payment platform before. Photo: Weibo
  • Stranger sends money via mobile payment app, incident is viewed 140 million times on Weibo

A woman in China who received multiple money transfers amounting to 2.26 million yuan (US$310,000) from a stranger, and returned all the funds without hesitation, has won praise for her honesty.

The woman, surnamed Wang, said she received a number of phone calls at the end of June from someone she did not know, Henan TV reported.

"That person called me again and again. So I finally picked up the phone," Wang, who lives in Xuchang, Henan province, central China said.

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"A woman cried on the phone, telling me that she got it wrong by transferring 2.26 million yuan to me."

The stranger, surnamed Tian, said she had sent the money through Alipay, a mobile payment platform.

Wang, who had never used Alipay, suspected it was a scam, but still comforted and calmed Tian, promising she would not hold any of her money if what she claimed was true.

Wang went to the police station with her daughter to report the case.

"We were shocked. How could there be a fault leading to such a big amount of money?" her daughter said.

Police officers said they had handled similar cases in the past and they also doubted it was an attempt at fraud.

Wang and Tian, who lives nearby in Hebei province, were asked to come to the police station for questioning.

The police logged onto the Alipay app with Wang's mobile number, and saw the account had received a series of money transfers with a combined value of 2.26 million yuan, just as Tian claimed.

They also verified the source of the funds before confirming it was a normal amount of income for Tian.

Wang immediately sent all the money back to Tian: "This is what I am supposed to do," she said.

News of the incident went viral on mainland social media after being viewed 140 million times on Weibo alone.

"What a good-hearted person Auntie Wang is," one online observer said.

"Auntie Wang is very considerate. She knew the money's owner must be anxious, so she returned it promptly. I wish her a safe and healthy life," said another.

Cases involving honesty and integrity often captivate social media in China.

Last year, a 13-year-old boy found a bag containing 160,000 yuan (US$22,000) in cash on the street and reported it to the police who later identified the rightful owner.

The boy returned the money despite his family's dire financial situation and the fact his father was ill in hospital.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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