More than half of the online fraud cases cracked by Chinese authorities last year were conducted through WeChat, the so-called super-app that allows users to do almost everything from mobile payment to ticket booking, according to a cybercrime report by the Supreme Peoples Court released on Tuesday.
Among those online scams, 31.52% involved identity theft, while the quantity of cybercrimes using recruitment ads to hook potential victims rose, the report said.
Internet fraud accounted for 17.67% of the total fraud seen across the country, up from 7.67% in 2017, with the southeastern coastal areas being most vulnerable to internet scams, according to the report.
In 2018, China saw the total number of online fraud cases grow by 50.9% compared with the previous year, said the report, which categorizes cybercrime as illegal online behavior that jeopardizes social and personal interests or undermines computer systems.
In January, a gang was apprehended by the Shanghai police for pretending to be an attractive female preschool teacher on WeChat to entice men to hand over money.