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Anyone can be a victim of fraud

Updated: 2014-01-15 08:00
( China Daily)

Swindles are so common that they often fail to make the headlines, but they do when the victim is a celebrity. The latest victim is Tang Wei, the leading actress in Ang Lee's 2007 film Lust, Caution, who reportedly lost 210,000 yuan ($34,733) in a telecom fraud. Instead of ridiculing the actress for being so gullible, people should come to realize the magnitude of telecom fraud, says an article on Excerpts:

The elderly are often easy targets for swindlers. In many cases, they are deceived into believing that they have parked their money in the wrong place and they should transfer it to a "secure account" to seek higher returns. Earlier this month, a 74-year-old victim in Shenyang, Liaoning province, was cheated out of 420,000 yuan in a telecom con.

But the reality is that apart from the seniors, many young people can be easily taken in. College students, for instance, lack social experience and are often cheated out of their money in telecom scams. For fear of losing face, many of them feel reluctant to report the crime.

A well-known actress being swindled out of her money is not an individual case. The fact is telecom fraud is a widely committed crime in the country, and the victims can be of varying ages. That these scams are committed by swindlers in any place via a wide range of platforms, from the Internet, to ATMs, to cellphones and text messages compounds the difficulty of recovering the cheated money and property.

Tang's case should alert the public to the magnitude of telecom fraud. Curbing telecom fraud is not a duty solely to be undertaken by the public security authorities. Citizens are responsible for protecting their personal information and should never slacken their vigilance. The telecommunications companies, too, are responsible for taking practical measures to identify and intercept fraud text messages while ensuring the security of personal information.