China’s Banking Regulator Warns of Fraud in Relation to Novel Coronavirus


China’s banking regulator has warned of fraudulent schemes that seek to capitalise upon opportunities created by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has announced via its official website that domestic banks have received multiple complaints about the “use by illegal elements of false information on the disease situation to defraud or harm the interests of consumers.”

According to CBIRC these fraudulent schemes generally fall into two categories, the first of which involves fraudsters sending emails to victims informing them of the change or cancellation of airline flights, high-speed rail trips or hotel bookings as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.

The emails provide links or phone numbers that fraudsters claim can be used to apply for compensation for changed or cancelled bookings, but are instead employed by fraudsters to obtain sensitive bank card or code information from victims.

The second category of fraud involves online platforms that falsely claim to sell medical provisions or protective gear that will help to keep consumers safe from the coronavirus.

The platforms are used to obtain payments from victims for products that are never delivered prior to the abrupt closure of websites, or else obtain the sensitive financial details of victims.

CBIRC also warned about the use of fake charities to fraudulently obtain donations from the public via social media platforms such as WeChat and QQ.

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