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Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 08:49

Many netizens fall victim to fraud

By Su Zhou
Many netizens fall victim to fraud

Chinese Internet users may become easy prey to cyberattacks, online malware and online fraud, according to a report released on Monday that stresses the urgency of raising people's cybersecurity awareness.

The Chinese netizen cybersecurity report showed that about 55 percent of Chinese netizens have been victims of online fraud. However only 12.3 percent of them chose to contact police.

Many of the victims didn't know how to deal with the fraud, especially children and seniors. More than 32 percent of Internet users under age 19, and more than 34 percent above age 60, said they had no idea how to protect their interests when encountering online fraud.

The report was released by the Electronic Technology Information Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. More than 254,000 people participated in the survey.

Hong Jingyi, head of the institute, said that with the fast development of the Internet economy, the growing cases of online fraud have become a concern for Chinese netizens.

"The results also showed that, generally speaking, the awareness of rights protection among netizens is not strong," said Hong. "Seniors lack knowledge to cope with online fraud."

Lai Pengfei, an engineer based in Shanghai, said he once lost 1,000 yuan ($160) because someone pretended to be his friend on instant messaging and borrowed money for an emergency.

"I reported it to the police immediately, and the police froze the bank account I provided, but I didn't get my money back," said Lai, 28. "Before that, I heard about online fraud many times but I didn't think I would actually encounter this."

To cultivate cybersecurity awareness, especially among teenagers, the Cyberspace Administration of China and other State-level departments opened the second Cybersecurity Week on Monday.

Lu Wei, head of the CAC, said, "Cybersecurity isn't just about national security and development, but also concerns the immediate interests of every Internet user."

Li Yuxiao, a professor of Internet governance at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication, said it will take some time before the public can have a better understanding of cybersecurity's influence on their lives.

"The essence of many online fraud cases is about Internet technology, but the technical part is very difficult to understand," said Li. "For Internet users, they just want to know how to tell the good from the bad. So informing the public by example is a very good method."

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