BEIJING: The Chinese police have cracked 764 gangs and detained 4,461 suspects involved in phone scams since last June, said a senior police officer here Friday.
In a campaign that started seven months ago, police have investigated about 18,800 phone scams and seized more than 64.58 million yuan (US$9.36 million), said Huang Zuyue, vice director of the criminal investigation bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, in a statement on the ministry's official website.
In these scams, swindlers pretended to be telecom firm employees, police officers, taxation department officials, friends and kidnappers and talked innocent people into transferring money to them.
"We have seen a reduction of these kinds of scams nationwide since the campaign started," Huang said.
Even so the ministry would continue the crackdown for the next three months, he said.
In phone scams, the con artists often form a network nationwide and even across borders, he said.
The ministry would work to improve cooperation among police in different regions and coordinate with the police outside the mainland and in foreign countries to crack such scams, he said.
The police would also work with telecom firms and banks to close any loopholes in their systems to prevent these scams from happening, he said.
Beijing police announced on December 30 that they cracked a scam, in which a Beijing resident was cheated of 10 million yuan from her bank account by self-claimed police officers and prosecutors who persuaded her over phone to put all her saving in one bank account and to give them her account number and password.
Five suspects were arrested and found to be residents of Taiwan, the police said.