Police warn Chinese community of targeted ransom phone scam

Lachlan Roberts 2 April 2019

ACT Policing is warning of the reemergence of a scam targetting Canberra’s Chinese community, where the scammer threatens to arrests members of their family unless money is transferred.

A caller claiming to be a Chinese official threatens the arrest of the victim or their family unless a sum of money is electronically transferred. In some cases, the victim is transferred to someone who claims to be a more senior official who then extorts more money.

Last month, Police said there were a number of incidents where payments totalling more than $150,000 were paid to scammers.

The scam was first reported across Australia last year and was reported in the ACT in June 2018.

Police are reminding the community that if they receive demands for money via phone, in the post from police or government agencies, they can check their validity by contacting the agency directly.

Don’t call the phone numbers provided. Instead, check the number on the agency’s official website.

If you feel that you may have been targeted or have any information that could assist police please go to your local police station, phone police on 131 444, or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Information can be provided anonymously.

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