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August 14, 2013

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18 held in information theft crackdown

Shanghai police have uncovered two large cases of personal information being sold in a nationwide crackdown on personal information infringement launched recently.

A total of 18 people have been held and 6 million pieces of information found, police said yesterday.

A suspected information seller, surnamed Li, was held in Anxi County in Fujian Province over a telecom scam operation.

Parents in Songjiang District told police they received calls claiming to be from teachers or medical workers who said their children were suffering from gastric problems and urging them make a bank transfer to cover medical fees.

The callers could always tell the parents the correct details of their children, police said.

The scam netted more than 600,000 yuan (US$97,920) from frantic parents.

Shanghai police held the alleged scammers in Xiamen City with the help of local police. The  four said they bought information on the students from Li.

When police raided Li's house, they found more than 5 million pieces of personal information on his computer — including 162,081 pieces of information on students and parents in Shanghai.

Li, who was a  tea seller, had information on former customers, it is claimed. Police say he also bought other information.

The case is still under investigation, said police.

In another case, two gangs of 17 suspects were found with 1 million pieces of information on their computers.

Three suspects were insurance salesmen in Hongkou District who got the information illegally from their companies’ databases, it is claimed.

Information was sold for 0.5 yuan (8 US cents) to 2 yuan per piece. 

Police in 20 cities and provinces participated in the nationwide crackdown, with 1,327 cases handled and 1,213 suspects held.



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