Some 14 Chinese suspects who are allegedly members of a transnational telecom scam have been taken back to southern China’s Guangzhou from Bangkok. The police office in Guangzhou confirmed their repatriation, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency.
A total of 30 suspects, including 20 men and 10 women, were apprehended after the police raided a suburb of Bangkok last December.
Most of the suspects were from Mainland China and Taiwan.
It is reported that over 2.45 million fraudulent phone calls were made targeting people in many provinces around China and the total amount stolen has reached 30 million yuan (around 4.59 million USD).
What you should know:
The fraudsters call your mobile phone number with an unidentified telephone line which sometimes looks like a foreign number and you pick up. What happens next is history.
It works for the fraudsters because Chinese telecom companies allow registered users to use unlimited phone credits that can be repaid over time. This is also applicable to any other country with such services from telecom providers.
Once you accept the fake call, your credits are drained and more, borrowed in your name. Of course, you get charged by your service provider.
It is widely speculated that the scam could be connected to a breach in the telecom company’s billing system. Until a case of hacked security data is proven beyond all reasonable doubts, telecom service subscribers will continue to bear the loss.
Who is at risk? Everyone. Especially if you make online payments with your mobile phone. The fraudsters are also hacking phones directly once you pick up a call, within those few minutes you’ll be asking, “who is it?”
People are advised not to accept calls from suspicious numbers in order to stay safe. Use internet shopping on the computer rather than your phones which are more vulnerable. Also ensure that your computer is clean of spywares and viruses by installing up-to-date security apps.