Since late March 2018 there has been a notable spike in scams targeting the Chinese-Australian community. On most occasions the recipient receives a pre-recorded message in Mandarin asking the recipient to either press a number to be connected, or call back on the number provided in order to resolve some urgent business.
When recipients respond they are connected with someone claiming to be from one of the following: Chinese Embassy or Consulate, Beijing or Shanghai police, or DHL (delivery service).
Multiple variations of the scam have emerged since it was first reported, however scare tactics have been utilised in all calls in an attempt to convince the recipients their identity has somehow become involved with criminal activity. Individuals have lost large sums of money to this scam and the scammers are also targeting Mandarin speakers in Canada, Singapore and the United Sates.
In addition to the scamming payments, some members of the Chinese-Australian community have participated in elaborate acts as part of the deception, including image-based abuse, plea-bargaining with fake judiciary and extortion.
Presently the scammers are contacting individuals by
phone. The caller will ask for the victim's personal
information including name, passport number,
Chinese ID card and/or driver licence number under
the guise of "resolving the matter". At some stage after
initial engagement, the criminals will insist the
recipient send large amounts of money to an account.
Some of the reasons the scammers say the money
needs to be transferred include: to avoid deportation,
to assist in catching the criminals, because their bank
accounts are going to be frozen, to negotiate bail, or to
prove that they are the legitimate account holder.
Be wary of unsolicited phone calls where the caller is threatening you, asking for personal information or for remote access to your device. Disconnect immediately and call the legitimate organisation back to for confirmation.
Be sure when calling organisations back that you are using their official phone number.
Warn friends and family members of the risks and to be on the lookout for callers requesting information about you.
IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.
IDCARE as a registered charity does not ask individuals to donate or pay for our front line services. We are not a charity that can receive tax deductible donations. We rely on organisations that care enough about you to care about us to keep our charitable service going. Proudly these organisations are displayed above and on our Subscriber Organisations page. If you are asked for payment from someone claiming to be from IDCARE, please report this to us using our Report Phishing email.
IDCARE has access to the Department of Social Services’ Free Interpreting Service, delivered by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Access to the Free Interpreting Service is provided to assist you to communicate with non-English speaking people who hold a Medicare card. Please note that the service does not extend to New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold an Australian Medicare card, or to tourists, overseas students or people on temporary work visas.
New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers. A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.