Police maintain pressure to combat online fraud

Online fraud remains a severe problem, as perpetrators have developed more covert and diversified means, a report has found.

Chinese police have solved 315,000 online fraud cases, busted 16,000 gangs for fraud and caught 146,000 people suspected of fraud-related offenses since June 2015, when a national team consisting of 23 government departments, led by the Ministry of Public Security, was set up to combat fraud in cyberspace.

In the same period, Chinese prosecutors approved the detention of 79,000 people suspected of online fraud, of whom 77,000 were charged, according to the report jointly issued on Tuesday by the ministry, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Tencent, an internet and technology giant.

From January to June, police nationwide solved 58,000 online fraud cases and caught 51,400 suspects, up 3 percent and 32 percent respectively year-on-year, it said, adding that the fight is intensifying.

Zhang Xiaojin, a senior prosecutor with the SPP, said judicial authorities should maintain the pressure against fraud because of the ever-changing methods of fraud.

“For instance, those who pretend to be judicial officials and make random calls to cheat residents have become old hat,” he said. “Now, swindlers have increased the success rate of fraud by stealing people’s private information to more accurately target their victims.”

The report shows people aged 18 to 21 are often lured into fraud by lower prices of online products or part-time job recruitment, as most of them are students or just entering the workforce and have limited financial capabilities.

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Those over 45 years old, meanwhile, are the major fraud targets of online products for financial investment and healthcare because they have saved some money and have begun having health problems, it added.

To make the fight more effective, some internet companies, including Tencent, have also offered technological support such as big data collection and artificial intelligence to protect users’ personal information and aid police in combating swindlers.

Under such cooperation, Tencent helped police solve 26 online fraud cases in the first six months of this year, the report said.

Sun Jinfeng, deputy director of the ministry’s criminal investigation department, applauded the cooperation, calling for more enterprises and social institutes to join the anti-fraud team to maintain an orderly online environment.

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