Singer Lu Ting harassed by calls to repay money

A woman called 'Lou', who had taken a loan, had bought Lu Ting's (above) number from hackers.
A woman called 'Lou', who had taken a loan, had bought Lu Ting's (above) number from hackers. PHOTO: SNH48-LU TING/WEIBO

The calls were not from star-struck fans who gushed about their love and affection for their idol.

Instead, Lu Ting, part of Chinese girl group SNH48, was asked by the callers to repay a sum of money.

Lu, 26, recalling the phone exchanges on Monday in a fan group's chatroom, said the callers mentioned a woman called "Lou" who had taken a loan.

Adding that she did not know how Lou had got hold of her number, Lu said she was fed up of being harassed and would report the matter to the police.

Lu also slammed the woman for causing her unnecessary trouble.

According to a report in Sina, Lou had bought Lu's number from hackers, curious over whether the singer would actually pick up any calls from an unknown number.

While it was confirmed that Lou had borrowed money, her parents had also helped her to settle the debt.

The confusion over non-payment arose when the lender did not update its records, which led to Lu being contacted repeatedly.

Lou, who was tracked down by fan-club members, admitted that she had made a mistake over how she handled her financial affairs and vowed not to repeat it.

According to ETtoday, Lou borrowed 3,000 yuan (S$579) and had turned over her phone to the company so that it could copy numbers from its address book.

Lu's number was on the list, but Lou said she had not known that the singer would be harassed later.

Lou said she has now changed her number and that she no longer keeps celebrity numbers in her phone.

It is not known why Lu did not change her phone number to avoid the nuisance calls.

But another celebrity, actor-singer Wang Yibo, did. In August, he appealed to fans not to buy his number after he was bombarded by calls.

Wang, 21, part of Chinese-Korean boy band Uniq, posted screenshots of his phone indicating 194 missed calls from unknown numbers, after his had been hacked and sold.

Insisting that he valued his privacy, he said he had no choice but to change his number even if it was a chore to do so, inform loved ones and update transaction arrangements linked to his phone number.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2019, with the headline 'Singer Lu Ting harassed by calls to repay money'. Print Edition | Subscribe