Get­ting conned helped tech grad­u­ate find his niche

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

Pei Zhiy­ong, 36, is a cy­ber­se­cu­rity spe­cial­ist at Qi­hoo 360 and head of 110.360.cn, a web­site set up to tackle on­line and off­line fraud.

I’ve been work­ing in in­ter­net-re­lated jobs since grad­u­at­ing from col­lege with a ma­jor in mul­ti­me­dia telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, but it was an in­ci­dent six years ago that made me want to take on on­line fraud.

In 2010, my two air-con­di­tion­ers at home broke. Af­ter search­ing on­line, I found a re­pair com­pany that sent over some work­men. The com­pany ap­peared pro­fes­sional, but I was sur­prised when the work­men asked for more than 4,000 yuan ($615) up­front to carry out the re­pairs.

They claimed I needed new parts. I re­fused to pay that amount and we later set­tled on 600 yuan, cover­ing the re­pairs and ad­di­tional coolant for the air-con­di­tion­ers.

I thought I’d been smart, as I hadn’t paid the money they asked for. Later, I dis­cov­ered the ser­vice shouldn’t have cost more than 200 yuan and that the work­ers had not even fixed the ma­chines prop­erly. I’d been cheated.

Af­ter this ex­pe­ri­ence, I never laughed at oth­ers who had been swin­dled. I’dmet these peo­ple face to face, and I was still de­frauded, let alone those whose money has been taken af­ter they just replied to a text mes­sage or answered a stranger’s call.

In 2012, I started work­ing atQi­hoo 360 and sawa chance to ful­fillmy wish to fight on­line fraud.

I was put in charge of a group to look at fake in­for­ma­tion on the in­ter­net and we estab­lished links with other in­ter­net en­ter­prises in Beijing to share in­for­ma­tion.

Many peo­ple are swin­dled, and not be­cause they are fool­ish or naive. In­stead, it comes down to their lack of knowl­edge of how to dis­tin­guish be­tween fake and real in­for­ma­tion, and care­less­ness in re­leas­ing per­sonal data.

Find­ing fraud­sters is the first step, but ar­rest­ing them and help­ing oth­ers to avoid be­ing cheated is the key.

I’min charge of an­a­lyz­ing re­ports and un­cov­er­ing new kinds of fraud, and then shar­ing so­lu­tions for ne­ti­zens.

Fight­ing fraud is a bat­tle. As we learn how fraud­sters op­er­ate, they change their be­hav­ior. It’s this change that mo­tives me to an­a­lyze more and share more, and co­or­di­nate with po­lice to stop them.

Pei Zhiy­ong spoke with Cao Yin.

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