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Police ask for greater powers to beat fraud

THE Shanghai financial authority is seeking the support of out-of-town banks to help police investigate phone and text message scams.

Hundreds of locals - including many seniors - have been duped into revealing their bank account details and passwords by criminal gangs that pretend to be bank officials or police. Most of the gangs operate from other provinces, police said.

Victims are often told their money isn't safe and they should transfer it to another, safer account. Shanghai police want faster ways to freeze and investigate such bank accounts.

Police have also warned the city's top advisory body of loopholes in the current financial and telecoms systems.

In a proposal in January, the Shanghai Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference urged phone service providers to step up supervision against such scams and come up with ways to prevent them.

Actions have begun to improve the efficiency with which Shanghai police can investigate suspicious bank accounts opened outside the city, said the Shanghai Financial Services Office. The Shanghai Committee of CPPCC told Shanghai Daily yesterday that it was in contact with the Financial Services Office about this issue.

The office said it was in talks with financial administrations in other cities and provinces to create special channels so local police could fast-track probes and freeze accounts.

The office said they have also started discussion with other local government departments to limit the number of bank cards an individual is allowed to apply for in Shanghai, in efforts to curb crime.


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