A bogus bank in the Chinese city of Nanjing, complete with uniformed staff behind counters, swindled customers of 200 million yuan (S$43,170,000) over the course of a year, reported the BBC.
Most of the outfit's more than 200 clueless customers were mainly owners of small businesses from the neighbouring Zhejiang province, reported USA Today.
The fake bank, which was actually a rural cooperative, enticed its victims by promising a 2 per cent interest every week. The premises were made to look like a state-owned bank.
According to the BBC, the scam started to unravel when a businessman deposited 12 million yuan in 2014. He grew suspicious after he did not receive the interest and went to the police when the so-called bank refused to return his money.
The authorities subsequently arrested five people in connection to the scam, including a woman who absconded with the ill-gotten gains to Macau, the BBC reported.