Chinese police bust data theft operation targeting debtors

News by Roi Perez

Police raids in China bring down professionally organised criminal operations, which intercepted millions of items of personal data to steal information.

Police in China have arrested 138 suspects in 14 locations around the city of Guangzhou on charges of conducting a large data theft operation.

The South China Morning Post reports that according to the police, the raid took place early on Monday, in which police seized more than 2000 bank cards and a large number of electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones.

The criminals allegedly set out to acquire data illegally by intercepting it, and were rather successful. More than 100 million items of personal data, ranging from people's mailing addresses to their telecommunications history were stolen.

One company involved in the operation named itself “the 16k”, to imply that it has the capability to steal personal information of people in 16 provinces around China.

According to the police, others involved were loan sharks, where its creditors illegally obtained personal data to track down debtors.

Upon conducting the raids, police found an office with whiteboards covered in strategies on approaching debtors, and bundles of personal information about them.

Those running the operation initially bought information from employees of major telecom companies, logistics companies and banks, and also profited from selling the data to other users.

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