Criminals in China are scamming children desperate for more online gaming time

midian182

Posts: 8,152   +97
Staff member
What just happened? China's strict laws on how long under 18s can play online games have seen fraudsters take advantage of a 15-year-old's desperation, conning him out of $560 by promising a way to circumvent the three-hours-per-week restriction imposed by the government.

CAC, or the cyberspace administration of China, writes (via The Reg) that it has dealt with 12,000 cases of online fraud against youngsters this year. One of these incidents involved Tan Moumou, who was using some of his allotted online game time to enjoy a mobile title when someone added him as a friend on WeChat, China's instant messaging/social media/mobile payment app.

The person promised Tan that they knew a way of avoiding China's gaming rules for youths, which allow just one hour of online play, between 8 pm and 9 pm local time, on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The catch was that he needed to hand over some money for this information.

Tan secretly used his parent's phone to pay 3,800 yuan, around $560, to his new friend, who, needlessly say, never lived up to his promise and didn't return the cash.

The victim in another case was even younger, and the payout was higher. A 12-year-old was snared by the promise of a free game skin before the scammer convinced them they had committed an illegal offense. The punishment would be a year in jail or a $15,000 fine, but the fraudster said they'd make the whole thing disappear for $1,500. Again, the child used his parent's phone to pay the money.

Some other reported crimes where the victims were under 18 include fake lottery scams, handing over parents' payment details, and paying for PC parts that never arrive, the latter being a popular con in most of the world.

Before August last year, China allowed under 18s access to online games for one and a half hours on weekdays and three hours on holidays and weekends. This was then slashed to the current three hours per week plus one hour on holidays.

There had been rumors that the restrictions would be eased during the summer holidays when kids are off school, but Tencent Games disappointed millions recently when it confirmed this wasn't going to happen. Not surprisingly, many of the frauds reported to CAC occur during the summer.

Thanks, The Reg

Permalink to story.

 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,530   +5,968
Ah, China. Once again showing how these systems meant to "protect" people end up causing more rampant fraud and harm. Similar issues can be found in former eastern european block countries, many of which still do not have anti fraud laws on their books.

Also: INB4 our resident oppositionist says this is a good thing somehow.
 

sac39507

Posts: 423   +239
Limiting gameplay needs to happen with kids in the U.S. just to show them how good they have it so they could stop being so ungrateful.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,090   +8,127
I wouldn't be at all surprised if China makes it a capital offense and starts having more public executions ....
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,632   +833
3 hours a week??? That is child genocyde I tell you!!!
When perents limit their children play time it usually means they care about their children.
The government does the same it is not quite the same...
 

brucek

Posts: 1,209   +1,762
If China can limit children's phones to 1 hour of game time, you'd think it could limit them from sending $1,500 to a stranger.

Or put another way, if the child had access to their parent's phone spending privileges, why didn't / couldn't they also get access to the parent's phone gaming privileges?
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 105   +136
If China can limit children's phones to 1 hour of game time, you'd think it could limit them from sending $1,500 to a stranger.

Or put another way, if the child had access to their parent's phone spending privileges, why didn't / couldn't they also get access to the parent's phone gaming privileges?
Exactly
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 105   +136
While I do agree that kids and even a lot of adults spend way to much time playing games constantly in their spare time myself included.

I do not think it is the governments place to decide how a child should be raised as in making laws that state you can't play a simple games for more than such and such hours or else. This is up to the parents to decide such things. I'm surprised ther ehas not benn an uprising in that country with all of the stupid crap the government does to it's people there.

Then again our own PM has stated he admires China and how it does things so maybe we should be more worried here as well to what could be coming our way here.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,747   +4,684
TechSpot Elite
Limiting gameplay needs to happen with kids in the U.S. just to show them how good they have it so they could stop being so ungrateful.
Ah yes, so they can focus on a life full of student debts, medical debts and exorbitant housing prices. Young people these day sure have it "easy".