Security alert: Scam targeting Chinese students
Police are warning the Chinese community in Australia to be wary about an extortion scam in which victims are threatened with deportation and imprisonment in China.
At least 44 international students in Queensland have been targeted by criminals posing as Chinese consulate officials in this scam.
In a statement issued on 23 January, Queensland police said scammers contacted the students by phone or an online chat and alleged the students were facing criminal investigation in China.
‘The scammer then demands funds from the victim, to prevent the victim being deported from Australia and to avoid imprisonment in China,’ police said in the video statement via ABC News.
‘Some indicators you are being targeted by scammers: repeated requests for increasing levels of personal information, being threatened with deportation or arrest if you do not cooperate, [and] demands to only communicate via encrypted video and online chat applications,’ Detective Senior Constable Chia said in Mandarin.
What should I do if I’ve been contacted by scammers?
In the video released by ABC News, Detective Senior Constable Shawn Chia explained the scam in Mandarin and said if you receive such a call or message, please hang up or ignore the message, and then report it to police.
People can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, which is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via its website — 24hrs per day.
What can I do to avoid scams and stay safe?
- Be aware – the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to be aware. Know how these scams work and warn your friends and family
- If you are called or contacted by someone making threats about arrest or deportation, it is a scam. It is very frightening to receive these calls, but it is a scam, and you should hang up or ignore such messages.
- If you fear you have received a scam phone call, report it to your local police. If you think the scammer has your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.
- Members of the Chinese community in Australia can also report scams at www.scamwatch.gov.au. People can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts.
- The ACCC’s Little Black Book of Scams is an essential tool for recognising scams and is available in Simplified Chinese on the ACCC website.