2008-04-02 08:54:38 Xinhua English
BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC, the central bank) and the Ministry of Public Security plan a nationwide crackdown on bank card crime so that shopping by plastic will be safer during the Olympics.
The crackdown, which will last from April to July, will focus on Olympic host cities: Beijing, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shanghai, Qinghuangdao and Shenyang.
Credit card fraud has been on the rise. In the first half of 2007, the number of cases rose 29 percent to 1,171, which involved4.46 million yuan (about 602,000 U.S. dollars), according to figures from the Ministry of Public Security.
Commercial lenders across the country and China Union pay, a national bank card network operator, will have to conduct a comprehensive internal review of their bank card business and technologies, according to a joint circular from the PBOC and the ministry.
They must also improve the security and maintenance of their automated teller machines (ATM) and point of sale (POS) terminals, said the circular.
During the Olympics this August, Beijing is expected to have 800,000 foreign and 900,000 domestic visitors. Total overseas visitor arrivals this year are forecast at 4.6 million.
Wu Heping, the Ministry of Public Security spokesman, said that criminals were frequently found to be installing monitoring equipment at ATMs to steal account data. They then made fake cards to withdraw money.
They were also going after online banking by using spy software or "phishing" operations -- fake websites purporting to be real financial institutions that actually stole credit card data, he said.