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New mobile users will have to prove identity

CHINA, which has the world's most mobile phone subscribers, may soon require new cell phone users to register their identity with their carrier.

The new regulation will be the latest move to fight against unsolicited advertisements, scams and bank fraud via short messages, experts said.

The related policies are waiting for the approval of the State Council, or Cabinet, media reported, citing officials of Guangdong Communications Administration.

The Communications Administration of Shanghai and local carriers such as Shanghai Mobile and Shanghai Unicom would not comment.

Shanghai has required new prepaid account users to show their identity papers before buying a phone since 2006.

But in the rest of China people can obtain a mobile phone service without providing personal details if they chose prepaid services, making it difficult to catch those involved in phone scams, which are becoming increasingly frequent.

In the popular schemes, scam artists send messages saying the recipient has won a lottery, or they offer fake certificates, vehicle plates or high-paying public relations jobs. They then ask their targets to deposit money into a bank account as a service charge, notary or postal fee. Some criminals, posing as bank officials, send messages about upgrading credit cards to obtain account passwords.



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