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April 30, 2014

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640 suspects netted in card fraud crackdown

SHANGHAI police have caught more than 640 suspects in connection with bank card frauds since February, recovering some 16 million yuan (US$2.6 million), the economic crime investigation team said yesterday.

Officers said most bank card fraud takes place on the Internet.

“Almost all bank card frauds relate to Internet activities nowadays, which allows swindlers to carry out crimes in a less open, more ‘professional’ fashion,” said Dai Xinfu, deputy chief of the economic crime investigation team.

Police recently busted a case in which hackers cracked a debit card pin number and used the victim’s money to buy mutual funds on an online wealth management platform in Shanghai.

Fund units were redeemed 10 minutes after the purchase, and the money transferred to a fraudulent bank account under the victim’s name. This was opened and controlled by the criminals using personal information from Internet banking.

About 1.5 million yuan was stolen from the victim’s account. So far only 500,000 yuan has been retrieved, police said.

“In cases like this, fund transfers can be done within minutes into multiple accounts, making it more difficult for us to block transactions and recover the money,” said Dai.

From next year, cards with magnetic strips — from which fraudsters can copy details — will no longer be issued by banks in China.

Customers will be required to use more secure cards with chips.


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