China's law enforcement and judicial authorities said Tuesday that telecom fraudsters who make over 500 scam calls or whose online pages are viewed over 5,000 times will face prison terms of up to 10 years.
The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday jointly released the new principle to curb telecom crime, chinanews.com reported on Tuesday.
The punishment fraudsters face will be based on the number of times they have made scam calls or the number of views their online fraud pages have received, said the statement.
Crooks can be charged with "attempted fraud" if they have made over 500 fraudulent calls or their Web pages have been viewed over 5,000 times.
According to Chinese law, those who are convicted of "severe" fraud in cases that involve over 30,000 yuan (,285) in losses may face up to three years in prison.
For "extremely severe" fraud crime cases in which over 500,000 yuan is defrauded, criminals may face up to life imprisonment along with a hefty fine.
Fraudsters whose actions have severe consequences will face longer sentences than they would otherwise, including if their victims commit suicide or develop mental illnesses, if they extorted money from the vulnerable or impersonated law enforcement officers.
Accomplices who participate in planning fraud, helping criminals hire employees or lure victims may also be punished.
China has prosecuted 564 individuals for telecom fraud in nine cases and convicted another 53 in four cases since September 30. The cases involve a huge amount of assets, along with serious negative social effects, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on November 24.