White-collar crime was up 10 percent in the first half of the year, compared to last year, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.
The number of white-collar crimes under investigation reached about 36,000 in the first six months, said Wu Heping, a spokesman for the ministry.
The number of frauds reported climbed to 97,221 from January to June, up 4.4 percent from the same period last year, causing a total loss of 4.75 billion yuan (US$630 million), according to Wu.
Wu said most of the messages involving fraud were sent from Fujian Province by Taiwanese and mainland gangs.
Wu said some victims of the fraudulent text messages came from overseas, including the Republic of Korea, Southeast Asian countries and Europe. Meanwhile, public security authorities together with other government agencies busted more than 17,000 illegal pyramid schemes worth 10 billion yuan. About 16,000 suspects were caught, Wu said.
Murders and robberies sparked by pyramid schemes reached more than 100 from last year, reflecting the economic disturbance and the affect it has on people's lives, Wu said.
The number of cases involved in manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products also surged 24.3 percent, totalling 1,247 in the first half, after China instituted stricter controls. Police around the country have now listed this crime as their major target, according to Wu.
China's serious crime rate was down in the first half of the year, Wu said, with bomb attacks down 27.2 percent, and murders down 9.1 percent.