Chinese police have arrested 31 people for stealing more than 2 billion items of personal information, including bank account details, and selling them on the Internet, authorities said today. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said it was a major case of infringement of personal information. Police in Liaoning, Beijing, Guangdong and Hunan busted three rings that illegally obtained and sold citizens' personal information online.
The suspects also forged bank cards with personal information and withdrew money with the cards, the MPS said. A total of more than 2 billion items of personal information regarding transportation, logistics, health care, contacts and bank accounts were stolen by the suspects, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. A preliminary investigation showed that since the suspects formed gangs in 2015, they illegally obtained and sold personal information including Internet accounts, passwords, ID card numbers, telephone numbers and addresses online. The case is still under investigation, the MPS said. A MPS official noted that cases of infringement of personal information are rampant in China. They severely damage personal privacy and lead to crimes such as telecom and Internet fraud.
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