Police step up fight against coronavirus scams
Police across China have intensified efforts to fight crimes related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, aiming to provide a safe and stable environment for people, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.
They have solved 1,116 cases of fraud linked to the epidemic, capturing 294 suspects and seizing more than 6.6 million yuan ($946,538) in illicit gains, the ministry said.
"We've paid high attention to fraud and established a quick channel for collecting related clues and conducting investigations to further improve the efficiency of solving the cases," it said in a statement posted on its website.
To illustrate its determination to fight fraudsters, the ministry disclosed details of three major scams.
In one, suspects told people they had surgical masks or could help them buy masks from overseas but then refused to deliver the masks after they were paid or even disappeared with the money.
Another scam involved suspects claiming to be from civil affairs departments or charities asking for public donations through fake text messages or websites.
There have also been frequent cases of groups on instant messaging services such as QQ and WeChat being used to cheat members out of money in the name of epidemic prevention and control.
"We're keeping a close watch on such frauds, and will increase our strength to combat the crimes," the ministry said.
"We'll also work with relevant departments to give offenders harsh punishment as a bigger deterrent and disclose how the frauds happened in a timely manner to enhance people's awareness and maintain public order."
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