China is in the midst of a massive menace of online scammers who lure people into investing in seemingly legitimate products which apparently results in victims losing their identity and life savings, media reports said.
In just 15 months through July 2022, China tackled 594,000 cases of telecom and internet fraud, reported Nikkei Asia citing the Ministry of Public Security. Moreover, the report said that in 2021, authorities stopped 1.5 million people from transferring 329.1 billion yuan (USD 47.5 billion) to scammers. Basically, scammers develop a rapport with targets through various means of communication such as online chats. The victim of the fraud starts to trust these complete strangers, transfers life savings only to find out later that it is a cellphone or computer scammer.
The scammers usually work in groups and follow carefully designed scripts and lure people into investing in seemingly legitimate products, often cryptocurrencies.
The crimes have caused hundreds of billions of dollars in losses and led to some suicides as well.
It is worth noting that the lack of laws to prevent private information leaks and an earlier loophole that allowed telecom operators to sell subscriptions without checking any identification documents created a safe haven for scammers, reported Nikkei Asia.