Police in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, have broken up a telecom fraud gang with help from internet security giant Qihoo 360, the local public security department announced on Tuesday.
The gang was allegedly led by a Singaporean surnamed Han, who was born in 1978.
He is accused of hiring two assistants from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and instructing them to steal personal information, such as identity card numbers and bank account details, from users of social media.
One of these assistants, surnamed Chen and born in 1990, is alleged to have acted as the group's chief hacker.
“To ensure Chen could use his technical skills to assist the gang, Han lured him and controlled him with drugs,” said a police official, who declined to be named.
The police were first alerted to the gang's presence by a resident of Shenzhen, surnamed He, who reported on Feb 3 that his bank details had been stolen and 53,000 yuan (,700) had been taken from his account.
With help from a team of technical analysts from Qihoo 360, officers were able to determine who the perpetrators were and where they were operating from.
“The gang had stolen the victim's ID card number, his bank account details, password and phone number, which they used to access cloud services, login to his account and take the money,” the police officer said.
Zhang Bei, vice-president of the company, said they had updated their cloud services once the breach was discovered.
“But such frauds cannot by prevented by the police working alone,” he said, suggesting that more internet companies join the fight against scammers.