121,000 residents saved from telecoms scams: police

Through proactive prevention of telecoms scams, police said they have saved over 4.3 billion yuan (US$630 million) of potential losses.

In the past 12 months, about 121,000 residents were saved from falling trap to telecoms scammers, Shanghai police said on Thursday.

Police were able to detect scammers who were contacting residents using software developed with the help of tech companies. They then warned those about to fall victim to the scams.

In another 50,000 cases, police called but the potential victims didn’t answer the phone or said they didn’t understand because they don’t speak Chinese, police said.

Through proactive prevention of telecoms scams, police said they have saved over 4.3 billion yuan (US$630 million) in potential losses.

The Telecommunications and Online Fraud Squad of Shanghai Public Security Bureau works 24/7 to contact residents the instant a fraud alarm sounds.

Besides making calls to potential victims, from August last year police working in all parts of Shanghai have been engaged in finding and talking with potential scam victims in person to more effectively prevent them from falling into the trap.

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, but those in which they claim to be customer service or bank workers remain prevalent, police said.


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