Be Careful! Telephone Scams Target On Foreigners

One of our readers Simon told us he met with a telephone scam, it was a call from “Hong Kong  Kowloon immigration office”. As we knew he has a Ph.D. degree and graduated from Harvard, one of the most top one universities in the world, let’s see how the “detective” caught the scammers!

Forbidden to enter or exit China?

The story started with he received a phone call from ” Hong Kong Kowloon immigration office”. A robotic voice asked him to check an important voice mail from the immigration.

Simon followed the steps then it turned to a lady to answer, he was told he has been restricted to enter or exit China because he helped a Chinese suspect to apply for Exit-entry Permit for Travelling to Hong Kong and Macau in Fuzhou.

She said I have to assist the police in Fuzhou on this issue or I can’t leave China, she transferred my call to that police in Fuzhou. However, when I started the conversation with that police, I noticed something is wrong here…..As Simon has a good understanding of different cultures and a good command of using languages, he found more nonsense appeared in the conversation:

  • Certain words like “police” and “sir” have different sayings in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China mainland.
  • He was asked for more personal information like passport number.

All these clues lead him to think of the giant telephone scam gangs in Taiwan. Then he checked Fuzhou police office address and telephone number online, what surprised him was that information perfectly matched with that “police” provided.

What’s going on here?

Simon immediately called the Fuzhou police according to the telephone number he found online. The truth gradually appeared, he was told that it was a very yesterday scam, scammers used the loophole of China Telecom, which could use Voice over Internet Phone (VoIP) to change their phone number, so they forge the real police telephone number to cheat on people.

Fuzhou police also emphasized that:

1. Police never and won’t have an investigation by phone, all the procedures are required to work by rules. If you involve in any case, they will come to you directly.
2. Police know all of your information by just knowing your phone number, including your location, names, nationality, passport number…etc. So it’s unnecessary for them to ask your personal information on the phone.
3. Most telephone scams start with robotic voice and guide you to leak out more personal information. If you are not being aware, scammers can use your personal information to cheat on your money.
4. If you are not sure it is a scam or not, you can just call the police telephone number 110 to confirm. It is available for any city in China.We also heard about scammers are capable of various kind of languages, that makes it easier to earn the trust of foreign victims.

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