Incidences of violent crime are down, but economic crimes
involving fake products and credit card fraud are up, the Ministry
of Public Security announced yesterday.
In the first nine months of this year, the country reported 3.38
million criminal cases, of which 1.61 million have been
Crimes that "seriously threaten the public's sense of security",
such as murder, arson and explosions caused by criminal negligence,
dropped by 10 percent, 9.5 percent and 24.9 percent respectively,
year on year.
However, economic crimes increased 7.2 percent during the same
period to 59,000 reported cases, ministry spokesman Wu Heping said
at a press conference.
Among them, there were 2,036 cases of fraudulent and shoddy
products, up 25.7 percent; 6,187 cases of financial fraud and 744
smuggling cases, up 15.9 percent and 13.8 percent respectively,
according to the ministry.
Wu said the booming economy, rising incomes and deepening ties
with the outside world all contributed to the growth of economic
crime in the country.
"Criminological research shows that generally, economic crimes
will increase when a country's GDP per capita is between US$1,000
and US$4,000," he said. "That's China right now."
Wu reminded the public to be particularly cautious when using
automated teller machines (ATMs), online banking and giving out
"Special attention should be paid to the sharp rise in credit
card fraud," he said, adding that credit card fraud cases alone
jumped almost one-third in the first half of the year, with
criminals netting 44.6 million yuan (US$5.98 million).
He said criminals were often found installing monitoring
equipment at ATMs to steal account numbers and passwords and then
made fake cards to withdraw money.
They were also found to use spy software or in set up fake
websites of financial institutions or banks to "phish" for credit
card account numbers and passwords.
The problem was particularly serious in Shanghai, Fujian Province and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to
Just two weeks ago, 29-year-old software programmer Xiao Feng
stood trial in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, for stealing 120,000
yuan (US$16,000) from 46 accounts by making fake credit cards. No
ruling or sentence has yet been given.
To prevent unnecessary loses, Wu advised the public to check
their credit card accounts regularly and to use cards carefully,
especially when making purchases or doing bank transfers
"People using bank cards abroad must pay special attention, only
use them in proper shops, and never let the card leave their
sight," he said.
(China Daily November 2, 2007)