Scams targeting Chinese-Australians
1688.com.au (澳洲新闻网)
29 April 2018

The following is a translated article published on 1688.com.au (澳洲新闻网) by Weibo user Omnipotent Pudding (万能的布丁). It covers a recent warning issued by Scamwatch about a fraudulent scheme which targets Chinese-Australians:

Australian officials warn all ethnic Chinese for the first time! Unprecedented fraud has occurred widely among ethnic Chinese! The money obtained by cheats basically can’t be recovered!

Those in Australia, please note!!

For the first time, the Australian government has issued a warning to the Australian Chinese community!

At present, a type of unprecedented fraud is happening widely among ethnic Chinese!!

Their target is the Australian Chinese community!! Everyone may have seen the news before. Some fraudsters posing as Chinese embassy staff have called Chinese-Australians to perpetrate fraud.

Now, thanks to impressive publicity by the Australian media and the Embassy, everyone has been warned not to believe this fraud. So, the swindlers have invented new schemes! A brand new scam against ethnic Chinese has emerged in Australia now. Fraudsters have falsely assumed the identity of employees of DHL International Express.

That’s right, the DHL courier that often delivers important documents.

There are also swindlers who pretend to be Chinese police or “special investigators”. Whatever they claim to be, the content of what they tell you is the same:

“We have a package of yours here with your name and address on it (they will repeat your name and address accurately, enhancing credibility). And a lot of fake passports have been found in your package!”

We all know that DHL is one of the few international courier companies that can send important identification documents such as passports. Overseas Chinese are very likely to be anxious when they receive a phone call from DHL Express on such an important issue as passports, and they just listen to what the other person says.

Moreover, forgery or participation in passport fraud in China is a felony!!

According to Article 320 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China:

Those who provide forged or altered passports, visas or other entry and exit documents or sell these types of documents shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years and fined in accordance with the severity of the crime. If the circumstances of the crime is severe, they shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of more than five years and fined accordingly.

On being told that you are suspected of participating in the fraud of a large number of passports and that you may be put in jail, many people would be anxious! Then, a fraudster posing as a DHL staff member or a police officer tells the victim that “we suspect you of money laundering or property transfer”.

Then he proposes that if you pay bail or pay a “priority investigation fee,” you can avoid going to jail…

If the fraudsters find out that you may not give them money, they will try to find a way to gather some valuable personal information when you panic.

For example, your passport number, bank account number, current address, etc.

Finally, Australian officials warned that Chinese victims who have been cheated are rarely able to recover their money at present!! In other words, once you have incautiously transferred money to a fraudster, the police may not be able to do anything about it!

The money you have been cheated of will probably not be recovered!

Today’s fraudsters know very well where the weaknesses are of us overseas Chinese. Embassies, passports, visas, family safety, and other issues we care about most often are the places where they begin!  [Emphasis added]

Therefore, if you receive a call about problems with your passport or visa, please hang up immediately.  If you do not feel comfortable, you can call DHL headquarters or the embassy for verification.

In short, it takes constant vigilance to ward off evil. If everyone read this Pudding article and raised their awareness, after receiving such a fraudulent call they would remember how to deal better with fraudsters.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 30 April 2018

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