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Chinese Scammers Use WeChat More Than Any Other App to Conduct Online Fraud, Report Shows

By Ding Yi / Nov 20, 2019 04:34 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese authorities slammed WeChat as the country’s most popular messaging app overtook QQ as the online tool most favored by swindlers to conduct online fraud.

More than half of the online fraud cases cracked by Chinese authorities last year were conducted through WeChat, the so-called super-app that allows users to do almost everything from mobile payment to ticket booking, according to a cybercrime report by the Supreme People’s Court released on Tuesday.

Among those online scams, 31.52% involved identity theft, while the quantity of cybercrimes using recruitment ads to hook potential victims rose, the report said.

Internet fraud accounted for 17.67% of the total fraud seen across the country, up from 7.67% in 2017, with the southeastern coastal areas being most vulnerable to internet scams, according to the report.

In 2018, China saw the total number of online fraud cases grow by 50.9% compared with the previous year, said the report, which categorizes cybercrime as illegal online behavior that jeopardizes social and personal interests or undermines computer systems.

In January, a gang was apprehended by the Shanghai police for pretending to be an attractive female preschool teacher on WeChat to entice men to hand over money.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

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