Scammers impersonate the Chinese Consulate

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Have you gotten a call from someone saying they’re from a Chinese Consulate office? If so, you’re not alone – based on reports to the FTC and the real Chinese Consulates. But here’s the thing: it’s not a Chinese Consulate office calling. It’s a scammer. These callers seem to be reaching people with Chinese last names but, as we know, scammers can change tactics quickly.

Here’s what’s happening now: people across the country have reported getting a call or message saying they have to pick up a package at the Chinese Consulate office. Or, they need you to give them information to avoid being in trouble with the Chinese Consulate. Then the caller asks for your bank or credit card information, or tells you to make a bank transfer to them.

Regardless of who you are or who says they’re calling, never send money to anyone who calls and asks you to send it. Never give your Social Security number, your bank or credit card number, or other sensitive information to anyone who calls and asks for it. Same thing if they email or message you through a social media platform such as WeChat: just don’t respond. That’s a scam. And neither the real Chinese Consulates, nor the Chinese Embassy, will ever call you to ask for money.

If you get a call or message like this, hang up or delete it, and then tell the FTC. If you have business with the real Chinese Consulate and you’re worried, contact the real Chinese Consulate by looking up your local office’s number. But, whatever you do, don’t give out your information – or your money – to anyone who contacts you out of the blue.

To read a version of this blog post in Simplified Chinese, click here.

如需用简体中文阅读该博客文章请点击此处

Tagged with: imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Yesterday I finally had enough of these scam calls and I decided to give the caller a piece of my mind. After listening to the robo pitch for lower credit card interest I pressed 1 to speak with a live scammer. After the exchange of a few cuss words I told him I knew this call was a scam and I was going to report it to the authorities. He then threatened to come to my home to beat me and blow me away for not giving out my Social Security number. I should not have done this but I gave him a bunch of cuss words and told him I was not afraid of his B.S. at which time I hung up. Has anyone else ever been threatened by a scammer?

Mike I have worked a few cases where scammers used threats in an attempt to convince the person to send money but I have no experience where they actually carried out a threat. It is generally not a good idea to engage these people in any way. You never know what you may accidentally say under duress and ultimately cursing at them may make them laugh a little it doesn't stop or slow them down.

You best bet is to disengage and report.

Yes I’ve experienced threatening behaviour from a scammer. I too gave him a piece of my mind & hung up. He then must have had me on redial cos over the course of 3 days I received calls repeatedly whenever I replaced the handset & he just sat & breathed heavily or whispered. Never again will I bother - just hang up ASAP. It was very disturbing ....

Y. Had a little fun with a scammer on speakerphone. He was the one who used expletives. Probably not worth it; I think the calls have multiples since. Maybe coincidence. I no longer answer any calls not identified in my contacts. They can leave VM and I’ll decide whether to call them back and add to my contacts after I confirm the number

We appear to have an economy in which the quickest and least costly way to start a profitable business is to use technical skills, so as to appear to be someone who is trustworthy, and more reliable than in VERITAS.

Yes, I received this phone call. It seems it was 3 or 4 months ago. I still have my ex-husband's Chinese last name but lost interest in the language and culture a long time ago. A message was left on my cell, but I just deleted it. Had I known back then I would have reported it. I knew there was no reason for a Chinese consulate in New York to be calling me.

I do not have a Chinese surname, but have received numerous phone messages in Chinese since my recent visit there. This is the first call (no message) that is identified as being from the Chinese consulate. I did recently get a visa there.

Hello, I have so much info to give you in regards to the Chinese consulate. I have really been scammed a few times. I have saved everything. Letters, forms, pics and identity photos, job description etc. Please let me know where to fill out the form. Thank you, Deb

You can report to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

Thank you!

There are two agencies highly involved with these types of incidents. The USOSS has the Cybercrime task force, and the FBI has their local Infragard chapters. Its my experience as a member of both groups that Us Secret Service has a larger detail focused on these types of events. After contacting the FTC, you should call the local Secret Service Office and drop off your evidence. They are currently reaching out to the public for increased communication about such matters.

212-244-9392 March 16, 2018 585-633-3413 3/27 Caller ID was Chinese Embassy in NY (there is no embassy in NY)

I do not have a Chinese last name and I received a recording of a women speaking in Chinese. I had no idea what she was saying and I hung up.

Yes I get that same call Bobby.. the one who calls me has an area code of 214.. I end up blocking it but a week later get another one from a different 214#... it is just so annoying

Hubby received a call from a NYC area code. We do not answer numbers we don't know. He let it go to voicemail. Woman spoke Chinese. We listened to it a few times. He may still have the recording. We are not Chinese.

I’ve had several Chinese robocalls. They started after I attended a Chinese cultural event. I trust the event hosts so u wondered if there was a scammer in their midst. Of course the numbers change every time. I have no idea what they are saying

I've gotten that call yesterday morning and today before 9 am. From 2 different 202 numbers. It's frustrating. I'm getting woken up because of it. But theres no number to block because it's a different number every time

Today I received a phone call from Shanghai Policy station with +86(21)585 72346. I knew it is a scam. Every other day I receive phone call like this, it becomes very annoyance. Can FTC do something on this?

Since 4/14/18 got calls from 212-264-9376, 212-361-5492, 212-244-9951, 212-242-7110, 212-334-5868, and 212-244-9342 from male or female Asian callers, asked if they speak English they kept talking fast. Now I just have to block them along with all the other scam, phishing calls.

In DC and Virginia area the call is from this number: 202-465-6162.

They are also calling (speaking in Chinese) from 202-214-0444, 202 504-6915, etc. In my opinion the real problem is not so much evil people doing "their business", it is the Federal Trade Commission doing NOTHING really serious to protect the American people.

I received a call (202-495-2266) on 18 May from the "Chinese Embassy". I thought it was amusing and did not answer, and they didn't leave a message. Thanks for the info on this and similar scam calls.

I would just like to know why the FCC & or the FTC are not doing anything about stopping this???? These chinese messages have been reported for almost a year with several ppl giving specific info how long till they step in and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING instead of just pulling our leg with all this report taking...WTH

thanks for the warning

After my Chinese roommate unwittingly gave them his SSN this morning, I helped him to establish a 90-day Fraud Alert online through Experian (which should propagate to Equifax & TransUnion) and to freeze his credit reports at Chex, Experian & Equifax. [TransUnion was being difficult, wanting to sell protection yet denying his credentials; we'll have to try them by phone on Monday.] Anything else to do at this point? And is it any coincidence that this spam call came on a Saturday morning, when the credit reporting agencies are all closed for the weekend? How much damage can they do over the next two days, when most businesses are also closed?

Get information about what to do if your Social Security number is exposed at IdentityTheft.gov.

Many friends got this scam call, we all using Fido. Now.. I'm concern about...will Fido leaking information, that's why they only call Chinese Name people.

I’m Italian and I have gotten several of the calls. When will we pass a law making it a felony to spoof caller id?

It's already against the law under the Truth In Caller ID Act to spoof Caller ID info with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value. Criminals don't care about the law seeing as they already ignore the Do Not Call Registry. Many of these scammers are based outside of the U.S. and use VOIP to make phone calls, making it even more difficult to track. Last year, an insurance company out of North Carolina was fined $82 million and timeshare company in Florida was fined $120 million for violating the Truth In Caller ID Act. Now whether the FCC will ever see a dime of those fines, who knows.

My name is about as Anglo as the come, and I am getting these calls on my government office phone, government iPhone, and personal cell phone. They don't seem to discriminate. I am in the DC/Maryland area and I am getting calls from the 202 numbers. Very tiresome; I don't answer, but they leave messages, always in Chinese.

I have been getting these calls for weeks now & I have an unmistakable English name. I wish I spoke Mandarin or Cantonese so I could have some fun toying with the culprits. I have been getting calls from 0422587388

I was almost fooled by them, saying that I gave a bank card to some stranger and now i'm involved in money laundering with the chinese. I did have a bank card in china as a child but that was many many years ago. I proceeded to ask them of their name, address, and employee number, that person hung up. Unfortunately I ended up giving them my full name and birthdate in the beginning of the call. Being followed by "interpol" was a bit scary and I was totally fooled.

The same story - not sure if the same person but was very convincing too - I was also thinking of the wallet I had just lost 2-3 weeks ago and that maybe it was found on this woman. I was and feel so foolish.

Receiving these calls that the FTC mentioned above 2 or 3 times a week. Always in Chinese. Always a NY area code (212) for example 212-244-6700, 212-244-0031, 212-244-3411, etc.,.. etc.,...
I block them but appears they spoof or control a whole trunk of numbers.

1-415-852-3197 is a scam call leaving a voicemail requesting documents.

I almost lost a big chunk of money by this big group of Chinese scammers who are trained and manipulated. Since I don't read Chinese newspaper nor watch Chinese TV, I did not know there is such a scam around as I know of IRS scam.

It started as an innocent call back. First MISTAKE, I should verify the consulate number and not using the call back function on the phone . I was told they caught a suspect in Peking who was holding server fake passports. She asked my passport number. SECOND MISTAKE. I should have her read to me, not I read to her. Then, she said I need to call Peking Kung An Bureau(minister of public security).She was nice to connect the phone for me since I did not know how and where to contact. The officer answered the call took my info and questioned me some info, he even asked me if I knew how to contact them by walking me through the website to confirm it. He told me he believed I was a victim but he needed to call head office to check. After that call he told me he was surprised to find out that I am currently a suspect of an big international financial fraud event and he needed to forward my phone to his boss. The boss told me that there is an international order which would be sent out in few hours for freezing all my assets for three months and the international police will come to expedite me to Peking for investigation for 49 days. At first, I just laughed and I knew I was innocent and they could check whatever they wanted. But,I worried about my upcoming scheduled travel plan and freezing accounts. He then forwarded my case to the chief prosecutor. Each of them, gave me their full name and titles. The prosecutor was bully and did not even understand a word of English. He even used the techniques of refusing to help you for me to plead with him. Finally and slowly he told me to wire money to show my sincerity and he can expidite the process to be 3 days. Once they received the money he can check and issue a clearance of my innocent, changed my status from suspect to victim and return my money. I asked why don't you check my back statements(good thing he did not ask my accounts numbers), he said the main suspect was highly educated in US and had lots of people worked for him, even in the bank business. So the paper work they received are already compromised. He kept me on the cell phone all the time even when I went to the bank. I had no choice under the time pressure, so I was in the process of wiring money but I did feel uneasy as that point. So, I handed a piece of paper to the banker asked him to cooperate with me by saying the computer is down(it was about the time they are closing). They were on the cell phone with me for about 7 hours and won't let me shut down at all. Thinking it back, there were lots of should, would, could moments. But, they played my motion, time pressure and ignorance. They kept me on the phone in order to prevent me do other things or talked to other people.
I went to police and tried to call FBI afterwards, they won't take my compliant since there was no lost of money.
I just want to warn people like me not to step into this trap. They used all google voice to set up any numbers they wanted. After each exposure, they changed them.
Here are the numbers I had:
415-852-2728
86-1069-440212
86-150-0115-1293
86-158-1142-9558

Please tell your friends just never answer any phone call which you don't know the caller.

I have actually experienced the exact same process as you had been through, but they were accusing me for involving in the money laundering. I was actually stupid enough to wire the money to their bank accounts and lost over $180000 dollars. I have already asked the bank to sent out the recall request to the recipient bank and reported this to the police station. I accidentally let out all my important identification information and now I am actually in a big trouble.

Find out what to do after your personal information has been shared at IdentityTheft.gov. Learn what to do if your Social Security number or account numbers were exposed.

Why would to wire money. Everyone for years have been talking about these scammers. Do not give information over the phone. I feel so Bad for you. You worked hard for your money hard to come by fast to go,

Similar situation happened to me yesterday 5/15/18 around noon. I got a robo-call indicating an important package sent from Chinese Embassy and, after clicking 2, was connected to a man with the legit Embassy number in Washing DC 202-495-2266. He asked if I know a person named “Wong Hai Yian”, a person was caught in Beijing immigration possessing fake passport with my identity and that I need to open a case to have Beijing Police to investigate this case. He then transferred me Beijing police. A person named “Wong Hao” claimed to be an officer of 北京市公安局顺义分局 asked me details to open a case. He walked through online for how to find official address and phone# for 北京市公安局顺义分局 via google and baidu. To ensure future follow-up, his said he will disconnect and redial and that I should only answer if the calling # matches with official phone# listed online, which is 010-6499-0212. Since I am located in US, he said the case report will be a recording and that I need to find a place with no interruption as, any voice heard during recording, the session will be void. I went through the recording session, providing all passport detail and my SS#, to open the case. Around 3pm, he called back to informed me that he has called Chinese Embassy regarding my case report as well as shared my case to other Chinese agencies for investigation. He said he will call me back next day 8am EST to provide more update. Also, advise me not to tell anyone about this investigation case in the next 3 to 7 days as it may impact the investigation. The whole instance seemed a legit international crime case report as no credit card or bank info was involved. I asked him if I call Chinese Embassy, the Embassy should have the case report info. He firmly responded YES. But the next day, I didn’t get the call.
I found out it’s a fraud when I see the SCAM Alert message on the Chinese Embassy’s site.

You can take steps to protect your information after a scammer gets your Social Security number. You could place a credit freeze on your credit report, to stop a scammer from opening new accounts in your name. Or, you could place a fraud alert on your credit report. Read more about what to do after a scammer learns your Social Security number on the FTC's IdentityTheft.gov website.

I had a very similar phone call from 213-807-8088 saying the last notice for me to pick up an important document, when asked what the document is, I was told that my entrance to China will be blocked after 9/20/208. I then asked the person to check what the reason is, I am told that someone by the name of Wang, Ming-Fong who entered in China from Shanghai was found having 5 faked passport in her passion, and one of them is mine. When then the person passed the phone to his boss who said that he had no authority to remove my entrance restriction, which would need to report to Shanghai Public Security Office, and he is nice to connect me to: 86 262906290 the Changning Branch where the police officer talked with me with recording on, with the intention of writing an office case report to the headquarter for investigation and clearing the case. His name given to me as Officer# 02780, name: Chen, Lo-then. I provided him with my driver’s license number and full name both in English name and Chinese name, since I was traveling, I do not have my passport with me and I have only visited China twice in recent 16 years and never had a Chinese passoport. After a very lengthy and friendly conversation with questions regarding my family, surrounding details, which he did not ask for my home address nor names. Etc. After I answered all his questions. He paused the phone to report to his headquarters and called me back asking me why they found a bank acccount under my name (my driver’s license number) with a large amount of $$$ in a bank which I have never heard of, sounds like China Construction Bank?? And the account has been involved in a huge international money laundries criminal investigation. My name was also found in a criminal. XXLi who is the chief leader of this huge laundry money crimes. And many Chinese people have been victim of this crime. He keeps on wanting to tell me the seriousness of my case... This took over 2 hours time on my cell phone. About that time, I had to go out-with the family whom I am visiting, so I told him I have to stop. He argued saying this is most serious criminal case I need to stay with him on the phone, if I do not take him serious then he can not
help me with the case, the national court will take action. Later, I found out this is a big scam which has been going on and widely publicized in Chinese newspapers which I do not read and totally unaware of such scam. I was very worried about giving out my driver’s licens number and my name. Later, found out may others have such bad experience as well. I found a website Identify theft resource center most helpful. They have a live advisor could talk with and gave me instructions what actions to take to protect myself. I tried to call the Los Angelse Chinese Consulate office (their phone number on their website) and could not go though at all. I don’t know what is going on with their office. Unfortunately. such incident certainly gave me a very very bad taste of China

I got almost the same scam. I made the same mistake, gave them my driver license number and my birthday so they can verify me. I should verify them. When they started mention that I am a suspect of a serious international financial crime. I got shock and decided that I should talk to my lawyer and told them that I'll have my lawyer handle the case. They stopped then I realized that I got scammed.

Here is what happened to me lately.
On the 9th of July, I got a call from so called 'Chinese Consolate' in NYC with the number 212-244-6317; the lady's name is Shang, Liping, who connected me to the detectives in the Police Department of Beijing Eastern District. From Beijing PD (phone number: 8408 1114). I was told that a lady named Xu, Feng entered China with 5 passports and one of them was mine. She is a criminal conducting money laundry and lots of more illegal activities. I was told she used my identity to place over 2.6 million Chinese yuan to my account. I told them that how many accounts that I have and roughly how much money in them and there is no such thing like deposit of approximately $400 to $500 thousand to any of my account. And the sum-up of all my accounts will not reach that amount. They wanted me to go back to China helping them make investigation on the crimes. I told them I can help them provide information that they need but not ready to go back and stay there for at least 6 months (in jail).
I called the Chinese Consulate in NYC the next day. I was told the 212 number and the person’s name are all faked, and the call was a scam call for sure. My mistakes were giving them the number of my driver’s license and telling them how many bank accts I have (but not account numbers).
Like FBL, I’m trying to warn decent people in the US beware of the criminals that talked to me and be on alert all the time. As a Chinese by origin, I’m really ashamed that a group of my countrymen are trying to do devastating damage to the lovely country and the people in the country. I pray that they are definitely to be caught in no time.

My roommate and I got these calls today. We live in Washington, DC but have Hawaii phone numbers. The scammer's number was 808-595-1913. Neither of us have Chinese surnames.

I got a call from the irs saying I owe money to them that I’ve gotten from 2015. If I owe money how come they are reaching out to me now? And if I did owe money they usually take it from my refund automatically. I’m confused. I definitely think this is a scam for my money but then again I got a bill in the mail from the irs saying I owe them money and it looks like a legit letter but I’m a little skeptical about it. I called the irs and was told I don’t owe nothing but when I call again to speak to other people they say I do I so confused.

The IRS will NOT call you, ever. This is an old scam.

I get at least two of these per day. I hangup. I do not speak Mandarin.
It has been going on for at least a month.

April 25, 2018, I received a telephone call at 10:21 am., from I telephone number I did not recognize. So, like many of you I did not answer. The caller left a message. Of course, I listened. It was a recording in Chinese; I could not understand. When I looked up the number from Caller ID the call appeared to come from the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas. I live in Houston and I live a couple blocks from the consulate.

I have gotten numerous calls like this but not in Chinese and not spoofing the Chinese consulate, but they threaten to send “the local cops to take me in custody” if I don’t make arrangements with them right away. It’s usually some tax debt they assert. The way I know it’s a scam is the same way it was obvious the Nigerian millions emails were: their English is “off”, they use phrases no native speaker or real official caller would, but that may be why the Chinese one is so successful at convincing victims, they avoid that problem by speaking in their own language, no mistakes. I have no idea where they are coming from, though once when I responded just so I could tell them off, a man with an Indian accent answered. This is becoming a worldwide problem, there has to be some way to deal with it, and these people have NO respect for Do Not Call registries.

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