Ten-month crackdown on credit card crime to start in January

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 November, 2009, 12:00am

Mainland authorities are to launch a 10-month clampdown on credit card fraud following news such crimes had at least doubled over the first half of the year, state media reported yesterday.

Figures released by the Public Security Bureau show police handled more than 6,300 cases involving credit card fraud over the first eight months of the year, with a total value of 440 million yuan (HK$499.5 million). The statistics are two times and 2.4 times the respective figures from the same period last year.

The Central Bank and the Public Security Bureau recently met to discuss appropriate policies to counter the problem, China News Service reported yesterday.

Zhang Tao, deputy director of the Public Security Bureau's department of economic crime investigations, said on Tuesday that credit card fraud had become more common in recent years, the newswire reported.

Common scams included people taking credit cards from several banks, applying for cards using fabricated or forged commercial documents and identity theft, Zhang said.

There was a clear link between the rise in card fraud and the increasing commercialisation of credit card sign-ups, he said.

Card thefts, the black market trade in credit cards and the illegal use of credit card data had increased in recent years, he said, and the internet was now a hotbed for crime.

Zhang said there had also been an increase in the number of people coming from overseas to commit fraud in mainland China.

Ouyang Weimin , head of the Central Bank's payment and settlements department, said establishing an effective platform to allow banks to share information on credit card cases would strengthen their ability to combat fraud.

The combined crackdown on credit card fraud is due to begin in January and last for 10 months. The news agency report did not give details of what form the crackdown might take.

On the cards

Authorities are planning to get tough on fraudsters next year

In the first eight months of this year, police handled more than 6,300 credit card crimes worth, in yuan, a total of: 440m