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BEIJING – Chinese police have caught more than 4,200 people this year for stealing and trading the private information of Chinese citizens, the Ministry of Public Security said on Saturday.

The suspects include 390 insiders from about 40 sectors such as banking, education, telecommunication and securities, as well as nearly 100 professional hackers, the ministry said. They are alleged to have been involved in more than 1,800 criminal cases.

With the increase in cyber crime involving private information, the public security authority has reinforced its crackdown against such activity.

The ministry will continue its pressure against crimes that involve stealing and selling private information, and urged enterprises that possess large amounts of information about citizens to enhance security management, it said.

It also warned the public to raise awareness and report cases related to such crimes via www.cyberpolice.cn.

According to the ministry, criminals illegally obtained and sold private information of citizens, including their identities, phone numbers, home addresses, bank and social network account information and passwords, leading to telecom scams, cyber fraud and blackmail.

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