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Phone Scam targeting Chinese Nationals in Australia by pretending to be from the Embassy RAKES IN MILLIONS $$$

IN RECENT months, you may have been confused by a voicemail left on your phone in Mandarin.

Whether you understand it or not, authorities have warned smartphone users to hang up immediately.

Police have warned of a phone scam targeting Chinese nationals in Australia by pretending to be from the embassy and demanding a large sum of money.


“We have offenders contacting victims on the phone purporting to be from the Chinese Embassy, and saying victims either committed an offence or had their identity stolen. As a result, victims are asked to pay fines or a debt,” Financial Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett told a conference Wednesday afternoon.

“I want to stress that the Chinese Embassy would never contact a person to pay money over the phone.

“We’ve had incidents where the victim is threatened, or their family back in China is threatened.”

She said there have been cases where the victim didn’t have any money. In these cases, the victim was instructed to stage a kidnapping so they could get money overseas from their parents.

The scam has reaped in millions of dollars, targeting victims across Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. One victim alone in NSW had $1.9 million stolen.


According to Det Supt Howlett, there have been at least 50 reports of this scam across NSW, with three calls this week alone.

But she said a lot of the victims still aren’t coming forward, urging people receiving the calls to hang up and notify the authorities.

Variations of this scam have been reported recently. In another one, an automated voice in Mandarin claiming to be calling on behalf of the Chinese Embassy tells the listener they had an important parcel to collect.

They are encouraged to press 9, at which point they are transferred to a scammer who tries to take their personal details.

China’s Deputy Consul-General in Sydney Tong Xuejun said more than 1000 cases had been reported since August last year.

“We have confirmed about 40 cases that caused a loss. The total amount of money involved is about $10 million,” he said, adding that the money lost ranged from $2000 to one case of $3.5 million.

In another fraud, the scammer tells the victim they are involved in a crime like money-laundering or embezzlement, and threatens them with jail or deportation unless they pay a hefty sum to get a “priority investigation” to clear their name.

They also try to extract sensitive information like passport numbers, bank details and addresses.

According to Scamwatch, if the money is sent to the scammer, it is likely lost and extremely difficult to recover.

Many non-Chinese people have reported getting the calls too, and being left confused.

The Chinese Consulate-General has urged Chinese citizens in Australia to be aware of fraudulent calls.


Henry Sapiecha

Warning over terrifying email death threat scam

POLICE say a scary new email shakedown, which claims to be from a hitman who will kill you unless you pay $100,000, is part of a rising trend. Here’s what to do if it lands in your inbox.

Hitman scam: Police warn against new email that threatens to kill you if you do not pay


YOU get an email from a stranger who claims they have been hired to kill you – what do you do next?

Police say the new scam is on the rise in Queensland, with criminals making terrifying threats to frighten victims into handing over money, the Sunshine Coast Daily reports.

“The sender claims to be a hitman hired by someone you know,” a Queensland Police Service spokesman said in a statement.

“The only way to save your life is by sending sums of money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.”

The sender claims to be watching the victim and warns against contacting the police or informing family members.

Police have urged people who receive the scam email to stay calm and follow a series of simple steps.

Police have urged anyone who receives a “hitman” email to remain calm, re-read the email and search for any clues the sender actually knows anything about the victim, including:

● Being addressed by name

● Mentioning a location you frequent as one of the places they’ve followed the victim

● Knowing the victim’s address or phone number

● Knowing the victim’s place of business

● Mentioning any family members by name

Police have advised anyone who receives a ‘hitman’ or any other kind of extortion email to:

● Delete the email immediately. These messages are sent at random, so they won’t know if they have reached a live email address or number unless you respond.

● Do not respond to these emails.

● If you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.

● Never send details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust.

● If you are concerned for your safety, contact the police immediately.

● If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24 hours a day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24 hours a day. (5)

Henry Sapiecha