China / Society

1,530 arrested in 'fake base' crackdown

By CAO YIN ( Updated: 2014-03-26 21:30

More than 1,500 people suspected of fraud through telecom "fake bases" have been detained in a recent crackdown, the Ministry of Public Security said on March 25.

A "fake base" is an illegal telecom device that can send spam messages to nearby cellphone users while disguising the source phone number, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry and nine other governmental departments, including the Central Internet and Information Security Office and the Supreme People's Court, launched the campaign in February as they sought to better fight fraud that comes from such devices, the ministry said.

By now, authorities have smashed 314 gangs, arrested 1,530 suspects and confiscated more than 2,600 of the illegal devices, the ministry said.

The device is small and easy to carry, so one can send many spam messages from cars, airports and bus stations, making it difficult for police to find the devices, the ministry said.

Hundreds of billions of spam messages are sent via the devices every year.

In this campaign, police in Hengshui, Hebei province, confiscated more than 70 fake bases and arrested a gang suspected of producing the device, the statement said.

The ministry added that fake base have been used in some crimes, especially fraud, in recent years and they will continue to crack down on the device market.

Residents can also call to police or 12321, a hotline developed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, to report spam and unhealthy messages, the Ministry of Public Security said.

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