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September 18, 2019

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Cons use stolen phones to steal credit card info

Seven suspects have been caught for allegedly stealing people’s credit card information via loopholes in certain mobile apps, police said yesterday.

The apps in question show users’ full identity card and credit card numbers, allowing the suspects to use victims’ credit cards after their phones were stolen, police revealed.

The case allegedly involved fraudulent charges worth over 1 million yuan (US$141,000).

Police in Huangpu District started their investigation in April after a bank reported that several of its credit card users came forward with fraudulent charges. Police found that all of the victims had their mobile phones stolen in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province.

Unknown people had also made calls to the bank and used accurate identity card information to reset account-access passwords, police said.

Through their probe, police found that the suspects would load the SIM card of a stolen phone onto a new device, and log onto popular travel apps such as Qunar, Ctrip, and eLong with a verification code on the SIM card if the owner of  the number happened to have accounts on those apps. Police said the apps don’t require a username and password to log in.

Then, if the travel app user happened to have booked trips, those apps would show his or her full identity card information instead of hiding certain digits as many apps usually do. In this way, the suspects could have easy access to a user’s identity card number.

As for credit card information, the suspects had two main ways to obtain it. First, if the victim happened to have taken a picture of his credit card with the phone, even if the picture had been deleted, the suspects could use a readily available paid software to recover the deleted image. Also, if the victim happened to be using a credit card management app called 51 Credit Card Manager, the app shows full credit card numbers without hidden digits.

With a phone number, ID card number and credit card number, the suspects were allegedly able to execute credit card fraud.


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