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Fraudsters in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, have started using scratch cards strapped to pigeon’s legs in a new type of scam, reports the Yangtse Evening News.

The police say they have been alerted to a number of cases involving fake prize vouchers.

There’s a long history in China of pigeons being used as trusty couriers, as in many western countries.

One woman, surnamed Qian, found a pigeon in the street with a voucher strapped to its leg on Wednesday morning. She scratched the card to reveal a message saying she’d won a prize of 280,000 yuan (about 41,600 US dollars).

However, in order to get her winnings, she was instructed to send the organizers 50,000 yuan…..

MORE: Pigeon fraud trick investigated by Nanjing police – China Plus