Police in the Philippines have arrested more than 350 people as part of a massive financial cyber crime raid.
The Philippine National Police said that early Friday morning officials raided some 20 residences and arrested 357 people as part of a massive investigation into online fraud and account theft ring.
According to police, the groups had been calling individuals in China, posing as Chinese state police members. The scammers told victims that their bank accounts had been compromised by hackers and instructed them to transfer all of their funds to a supposed "safe account" controlled by the criminals.
Police said that the suspects were mostly nationals of Taiwan and mainland China who had moved their operation to the Philippines following a Chinese police crackdown on cyber crime and fraud operations.
Sophos security blogger Paul Roberts noted that the large-scale raids were part of a larger joint operation between authorities in China and the Philippines to target criminals who were preying on Chinese citizens from abroad.
"In May, authorities arrested 37 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals in two raids in Parañaque City who were conducting an identical operation," said Roberts.
"Police in the Philippines have been operating at the behest and with cooperation of Chinese law enforcement, who used traced the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used in the fraud to the Philippines."