A website set up by software security giant Qihoo 360 to combat telecom fraud has helped police nationwide crack more than 100 cases in the past two years, the company said on Tuesday.
110.360.cn was established in cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau in May 2015 as a platform for citizens to report online and offline scams.
So far, it has helped solve cases involving a total of 170 million yuan ($25 million) after sharing data and analysis with more than 200 public security departments across China, according to a company statement.
“Thanks to the sharing of fraud information and data on the website, public security authorities have cracked down on more than 10 fraud gangs,” said Tan Xiaosheng, chief security officer at Qihoo 360.
“What we wanted is to take advantage of our technical skills to help police officers break cases, and to provide tips on how to prevent fraud,” he said, adding that public security departments continue to show interest in using the platform.
As the authorities are unable to investigate all accusations of fraud, police will set a threshold for the minimum amount of money defrauded to determine whether or not a case can be filed. This means victims who are cheated out of a small sum may never see the person who conned them punished.
However, the 110.360.cn platform collates the data it receives so that potentially related crimes can be integrated, which means several cases involving small amounts could collectively pass the threshold, and then police would investigate.
Zhong Tun, a police officer specializing in online cases in Guiyang, Guizhou province, gave a thumbs-up to the platform, comparing it with an “assistant” in their fight against online fraud.
“We broke three cases and detained four suspects since we joined the platform at the end of last year,” he said. “It can be called a breakthrough against online fraud for Guiyang.”
The company statement said that in June last year a resident surnamed Luo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, called police when she was cheated out of 5,000 yuan after opening a website link in a text message.
Luo told police she was asked to accept a gift from an online bank by replying to a message, but the message was spam.
Police analyzed clues provided by Luo on the platform, finding the case related to a fraud gang, and in July worked with the public security bureau in Dongguan, Guangdong province, to arrest suspects, the statement said.
From January to May, 10,882 residents reported on the platform that they had been cheated. Of those, 14.9 percent complained they lost money while searching for part-time jobs on the internet.
“Young people are eager to find jobs, so it is easier for many of them to fall for such recruitment scams,” said Pei Zhiyong, a company cybersecurity specialist.