National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) yesterday said that the commission would stipulate regulations within a month to crack down on fraud conducted through mobile phone applications.
Shyr made the comments at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, in which lawmakers were scheduled to review the commission’s budget for the next fiscal year.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) said that fraud conducted through mobile phone apps recently has been increasing, adding that the instant messaging application LINE has been used to secure root access to the consumers’ mobile phones.
“Swindlers have sent messages such as: ‘These are photos taken at the meeting last time’ to get consumers to click on the links attached in the message, through which they gain the root access to the mobile phones. Then consumers were fooled into purchasing points for online games,” Lee said.
Lee said that that the commission must reevaluate mobile phone micropayment systems by capping daily allowable transactions, adding that some consumers have paid more than NT$30,000 (US$1,020) in one day because there is no set limit at the moment.
In view of the increasing cases of fraud, Lee asked the commission to regulate both telecom carriers and application developers because it is simply not enough to ask consumers to stop clicking on Internet links.
Shyr said that the commission would work with telecom carriers and draft relevant regulations within one month.
“To prevent fraud, we must remind consumers to be careful when choosing mobile applications, and improve the coordination between application developers and telecom carriers as well as between consumers and telecom carriers,” Shyr said.
He added that the commission began reviewing micropayment systems in September.
National Police Agency data showed that 674 people were duped through fraud messages sent through LINE between August and last month, with more than 60 percent of them having college degrees.