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August 10, 2018

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Police efforts pay off against scammers

IN the past 12 months, about 121,000 residents were saved from falling prey to telecoms scammers, Shanghai police announced yesterday.

Police were able to detect scammers who contacted residents using software developed with the help of tech companies. They then warned these residents about the dangers they faced.

In some 50,000 cases, police tried to call potential victims but either didn’t get an answer or were told by the speaker that they didn’t understand because they don’t speak Chinese, police said.

Through proactive prevention of telecoms scams, police said they have prevented over 4.3 billion yuan (US$630 million) from being lost to con artists.

The Telecommunications and Online Fraud Squad of Shanghai Public Security Bureau works 24/7 to contact residents who receive messages from scammers.

Besides making calls to warn potential victims, from August last year police in all parts of Shanghai have been engaged in finding and talking with potential scam victims in person.

Police are now able to successfully contact and warn 66 percent of residents who come into contact with scammers, up from 42 percent 12 months ago.

“This is significant progress, because it means that our 20,000 patrol officers on the street are using ever more effort in locating potential victims before it’s too late,” Fan Hua, a police officer in charge of combating telecoms fraud said.

Thanks to these efforts, the number of scam cases in which scammers claim to be police officers, prosecutors or from the courts have dropped, police said.


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