Security website assists fight against fraudsters
Nearly 35 percent of all complaints are related to fake job advertisements
A website run by cybersecurity company Qihoo 360 that helps fraud victims is expanding its reach after a positive response from police and the public, the team behind the site has said.
110.360.cn, thefirstplatform of its kind in China, accepts reports of telecom, online and offline scams, and provides tips on how people can avoid falling prey to con artists.
The service was launched in May last year in partnership with the Beijing Public Security Bureau and has so far received more than 180,000 reports from victims, according to Liu Yang, a Qihoo 360 data analystwhoworks on the platform.
He said all the information is passed on to local authorities. “The data we gather provides clues for the police, and, if they need us to, we also work with them to conduct further research,” he said, adding that his team has taken part in investigations into more than 30 fraud cases.
As of October, the website was working with police departments in 162 regions nationwide, he said, adding that he predicts the number will continue to increase.
YeManqing, head of cybersecurity for the Beijing Public Security Bureau, said the platform unites three forces against fraud — police, the public and online companies.
“It’s a quick way to collect evidence of fraud and saves us time uncovering security problems,” he said, explaining that authorities are stepping up efforts to combat con artists, especially those operating online, after two tragedies in August.
Xu Yuyu, an 18-year-old from Linyi, Shandong province, died of a heart attack after losing 9,900 yuan ($1,500) in a phone scam. The money had been intended to cover her college tuition fees.
Song Zhenning, a college student in the same province, also died of cardiac arrest five days after being swindled out of 2,000 yuan.
The Supreme People’s Court has since called on judges to get tough with fraudsters, while Xinhua NewsAgency reportedonNov 2 that police across Guangdong province had busted 60 gangs involved in online fraud in the past five months.
“To quickly and accurately find fraudsters, and to protect victims, we’ve upgraded the platform to allow users to report crimes via text messages or voice messages,” said Pei Zhiyong, a cybersecurity specialist at Qihoo 360, who is in charge of the website.
“We encourage people to report any losses, even amounts as small as 2 yuan,” he said, as the same con can be used many times, culminating in a potentially huge income for crooks.
According to data compiled by 110.360.cn, almost 35 percent of complaints filed last year were about fake job advertisements that phish for personal information. Other common scams were related to online games and fake prizes.
“Many fraud cases are a result of people releasing their personal information,” Pei said. “In the internet age, it’s hard to avoid giving out our details, but we should always ask for verification that someone is who they say they are. Double-checking is key.”
have been received from victims since the website launched in May last year.