This combo photo shows bags used to send hide devices that can send false cellphone text messages to nearby pedestrians on the street.
(ECNS) -- Police have called for people to be on alert for some backpackers with modified bags carrying devices capable of sending fraudulent text messages to mobile phones several hundred meters away, CCTV reported.
The most distinctive part of the backpack is holes used for heat emission. The fake SMS texts simulate customer service telephone numbers, including those from China Mobile, China Unicom and commercial banks.
Messages could include links to phishing sites or viruses that can attack smartphones.
A telecom fraud group has been busted in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province, with 12 suspects arrested.
Five had used backpacks to hide devices that can send false cellphone text messages to nearby pedestrians on the street, the report said.
A resident in Wuhan surnamed Liu reported to local police that she had been cheated out of 9,900 yuan (,440) last May after she clicked a link in a short message sent from the customer service phone of a bank, which she believed was the official number, and typed in her bank card information in an effort to win a cash bonus as the short message told her.
The bogus message backpacker group has committed more than 130 known cases of fraud valued at over 3 million yuan, police said. Its victims live in seven provinces including Hubei, Hunan and Anhui.