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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

My business number is being used to make those calls. Lately, getting lots of returning calls suspecting and claiming that I've call them, often in Chinese, or in silence or just hung up right after.

Those numbers you guys have listed above, probably are victims as wells.

they just keeping calling all day to all my business phone, i think they get my contact from my advertising.

I received numerous such calls and from the one I actually spoke to the live scammer I can tell this is the scammers from Taiwan - infamous within Chinese-speaking communities, and yet, the Taiwanese government seems to encourage such crime. Yes encourage not misspelling.

got a scam call in mandarin from this number
1 212 695 1395

My wife speaks mandarin, just got a VM this AM claiming to be the consulate in chicago, have documents for her. She called the # and the guy claims the issue is with a bankcard in Shanghai. "Transfers" her to police in Shanghai, no delay, and they froze up on the simple comment "what time is it ?" she is pretty sure it was the same dude with a distinctive speech mannerism "lady" before the first name. She caught on and hung up on them.

This is getting ridiculous, here are all the numbers that have called this month and left voice messages. So annoying!

415-560-5660
415-412-3731
415-872-5663
415-872-9091
415-273-8876

Got this rather long message today from 202-945-7624 all in Chinese. I'm not Chinese, nor do I speak it. Caller ID came up as UNKNOWN NAME. I don't answer my phone anymore, just goes to answering machine. I live in 949 area code in Irvine, CA. This is third call in Chinese over last month.

Have had several over the last couple of months. Got one this morning from Private Number. Funny thing is I don't have chinese last name or first name either. But I did buy new phone recently Huawei phone, so maybe an reason, cos they only started after I got it.

I am not Chinese and I get a fee of these calls per day. Different numbers and area codes! I am so tired of these calls. 1 time I pressed 2 and got a person. I yelled "SPEAK ENGLISH" He said "NO, NO ENGLISH" I yell and told him I was going to call the police and he hung up but the calls don't end. I get them back to back and different phone numbers. They even leave a message! I am so tired of this. It's been happening for about 2 months now.

I just received one on 5/31/2018 at 4:15 pm, the caller id is 202-337-2212, saying there is an important package that needs to be delivered to me, press 1 to continue etc...

I received a call from 202-495-5266, the ID stated it was from Washington DC. I answered, & it was a man's voice speaking in a Asian foreign language, (I assume Chinese, but not certain as I do not speak any foreign languages). I assume it was a recored message, but not sure. Anyway, the call cut off, and I hung up. I then called the number back to see who it wqs, and that call did not go through. I then did a google/reverse look up search of the number which yielded that it was from The Veterans Affairs office in Washington DC. I was curious, so I called the USA/ gov number to verify it, & the representative suggested it was likely a scam & to report it to the FTC, which I did. I called the FTC to file a complaint, (as obviously the number wqs indeed NOT associated with Veterans Affairs (which I also looked up to see if there wqs a match & there wasn't), etc., The representative I spoke with also said it was probably a scam, so took the complaint & gave me a reference number. This situation was alarming since I had recently contacted the National Archives to request information & records regarding my father's military service... Strange Coincidence I thought, so I've been searching the net for similar info, which led me to this page...BTW my name is not Asian...I blocked the number & hopefully that's the end of it...Just be warned, if this number calls you, hang up & report it to the FTC immediately.

I am getting many of these calls and voicemails. Can someone please get to the bottom of this?

I have been receiving calls everyday... they start at 11am and taper off around 2pm PST. The phone numbers are everywhere , 818, 213, 626, 347, 330, 206, and 347 area codes. Talk about people with nothing to do! Losers!! Scammers!! Go jump off a cliff nobody would care!

I got two calls from the Chinese embassy, and they left me a long recorded message in Chinese. When i tried to call the number back, the voicemail message says "optus advises the number you are trying to call has beenn disconnected".

I've been getting these calls once a week or more on my work mobile. Someone speaking in what I think is Chinese. Interesting because I don't speak Chinese or have any Chinese connection at all in my family. I've had this number for years and have no idea why they keep calling!

My family and my coworkers of all races also received the same robocalls, even to phone line at my work place! We just hung up and block the contacts. How do these people get our phone numbers?? and what is the link exactly that we can report to FTC?

Report robocalls to FTC.gov/DoNotCall.

Becareful this number from Washington DC 1-202-495-9720 the answer machine left me message to me saying they are from Chinese Embassy. If you pick up the phone, they would tell you that you have a final notice and tell you so many ways you need to pay. If you phone over the phone or going to deposit money or western union... form to pay them. You are scam. However you can call them back. No Government will call you and ask you to pay. If you are not sure go to their Embassy to ask. If you have not a resident here in the US, they won’t lock you up or do anything to you. They would answered you any questions.

Got two calls on my work phone this week from 202 numbers. Fortunately, I never pick up calls from numbers that I don't recognize, so both went to voicemail. The messages are in an Asian language, which I am guessing is Chinese (I have a lot of Chinese colleagues). I am not Chinese nor does any of my names sound remotely Chinese. I came to this site after receiving an Agency-wide 'telephone scam alert' message.

I have received several calls from what google tells me is the chinese consultates main phone number - 02 8595 8000

I have blocked the number

I do not have a Chinese name and just received a call. I had heard about this exact scam call before so I tried to learn more. I pressed 1 to talk to someone. A young-sounding guy answered. I spoke a little to him and asked if he spoke English; he reassured me it was ok that my Chinese wasn't that good, we could just speak slowly. But when I asked what state he was in, if it was at the embassy in Washington DC, he hung up. The number used was 212-244-7241.

6/22/2018- Received call from Washington DC scammers today. I usually don't answer calls I don't know so I can't say what was said or in what language. I have a flood of these calls from 917 area codes too. Even though I block the numbers they still get through with a new number. So frustrating!

Received such a scam call today from a number (212) 242-2342. It left a message in a robo Chinese female voice saying that it's the last notice that there is an important document at Chinese Consulate.

If you are in FLorida, please be totally in the look out for (813) 310 3392. A male calling himself "Derrick"/"Derek" called saying he wanted me to call him back because he was from VA. Whatever... I have been warning Vet organizations too in my area. Take care of your battle buddies.

I've received a suspected scam phone call from 212-244-9392 on July 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm. The # looks legit as it is indeed the number of Chinese Consulate. However, you need to press a button to be able to speak with someone over the phone. This is a clever scam.
When spoken with the person over the phone, the man sounded polite and waned to alert you that they have received a formal government document which indicates that you have had a legal trouble with Chinese Custom because someone has utilized your personal identity info and created a fake passport with your sanction.
The story line is similar to what Pat (posting on 12 Jan 2018 on WhoCallsMe) has detailed, except this time is about a fake passport which cause you legal troubles with Migration & Immigration Control at the Custom of Beijing Airport. The alleged person who fabricated 5 fake passports with other's identity was a Chinese American, Ms. Wenli Deng, who has traveled to China via Beijing International Airport on May 23rd, 2018. They were manipulative to debunk your cautious about how they got your contact info and they also want to be helpful to connect you to the Chinese police department In Beijing so as to provide you further legal assistance. Upon further inquiries of their identity and work-related info, the person over the phone even gave you a fake name and a work id #, in the pursuit of being more convincing. When discussing you need their formal job title in English (for reporting to local police department and FBI), they insisted that you can contact them by calling the number and requesting to speak with Mr. Jie Zhang, work ID 5135. I expressed that I want to type up the entire exchange for my report to FBI and local police, the person hung up the phone. Apparently, the scam is trying to make people nervous and "share" information with their "police" whom they wanted to connect you to.

Just received a phone call from the embassy of china (according to google when I typed in the phone number. Was surprised to see that they left me a message...all in Chinese. I don’t speak Chinese...I’m not Chinese nor is my name Chinese sounding...this is why k can’t answer my phone when I don’t know the number...

I get these voicemails from numbers using the 202 Washington, DC area code. I don't speak Chinese but I imagine it's the same type of scam.

i fell victim to this and lost $10000 CAD. Is there any way I could get my money back? If i report this to the police and my bank?

You can report it to your police and to Canadian consumer protection or anti-fraud agencies as well as your bank. If you sent money by wire transfer service, report it to the wire transfer company too. You may not be able to get your money back.

calls in chinese daily from 212-553-1961,212-102-8838

Got a call yesterday from 882-737-258 (not a mistake!)
and today from 212-495-3987
Both were automated in Chinese (I believe).

I got a phone call from the Chinese Consulate today, which said I have an important document that needs me to pick up. The phone number is 706-273-6575. The person is speaking Chinese me. When he asked for my information, I knew he may be a scammer. Everyone needs to be careful about the phone number I listed.

call from 425-765-0486

Just received this call today and have not figured out how to report. Luckily I became suspicious and he hang up.

Sign up for RoboKiller app. It has answer bots that record prank messages and block calls. It at least wastes their time and I find it amusing.

I received such scam call today from (713)-558-9128. It's a Houston, TX area code and the caller claimed to be affiliated with Chinese Consulate in Houston. They also tried an international number +86 10-84081114. Accusing me of wrongdoing that I never committed and when I asked them to forward me the official governmental letter, they started playing tricks by claiming that I won't be able to travel to China in three days. Please be aware!

Today, I received a call from Houston (where I know no one), and let it go to voicemail. When I listened to it, the calller was speaking Chinese, and it sounded like it was a taped call spliced together with pauses in between. The number that was calling is 713-520-1462, which is the Chinese Consolate in Houston. I have an Italian last name, have never been to China, know no one in China, and haven't attended any Chinese cultural events. I hate these stupid robo scam callers. I wish we could get them stopped.

Received a call from (213) 807-8027 at 11:12 AM. It mentioned an urgent document at the Chinese Embassy, its the final notice, etc.

Got a call from (212)695-6632. How to report?

Received a call from (713) 520-1462 at 10:31 AM ET. No business with the Chinese Consulate.

Just received a call on my cell phone from number 202-669-4119 in a language I do not know.

9/6/2018 2:33 pm CDT received call from +1 (713) 520-1462, but no message left

I got a call from ‭(213) 807-8182‬ and ‭(213) 805-4807‬ both speaking Chinese

I had a miss call from a mobile number then they left a voice mail in Chinese. i went to return the call then hung up and the number called me back, its was a guy name Stewart he said i called but i had a miss call from him? The scammer must be using his number somehow?

I received a phone call twice from 212-244-8459 saying they are Chinese Consulate has a letter waiting for me. Press 0 key, let the Chinese speaker to care about me. I press 0, they hang up. I want to hear and see what kind of the games they are playing........................

I received a voicemail back in June, from 202-710-7550 (Washington, DC). As I was born here, I don't speak, much less understand any Mandarin, so I had no clue to what the person was saying other than "hello."

I don't respond to ANY phone number other than the ones in my contact list as everything else is either a wrong number, or one of a gazillion spoofs/scams . So until I saw a blurb about this on the NBC News website, I didn't know what the message was. Still, I kept it as a curio in case I wanted to look into it later, and sure enough the same message I received has been posted elsewhere.

I got a call in Chinese, which I don't speak, from this number at 2:50 pm Central time on Sep. 19.

I just received the call yesterday, not from Chinese Consulate office but from Wells Fargo bank. The caller ID match the number of Philadelphia Wells Fargo branch. The man said that I had opened an account in Wells Fargo in New York branch and sold the Debit card to a woman, who is in Shanghai right now, for $3000. After I claimed that wasn't me, he wanted to me to speak to the Shanghai Police, I said no. After spoke to him for a hour, he transferred me to he manager, Nancy Chen, who claimed to work for Wells Fargo Philadelphia Branch. I asked her to show me the documents that person who opened the account, she said I can pick it up tomorrow at the office from her. She wanted me to file a report with Shanghai Police department, so she can close the account. I was transferred to a man, who claimed to be Shanghai Police department, we spoke about the situation, and he wanted to make phone records to make a case. He called me with ID that match the Shanghai Police Department. The phone call last 13 mins until he asked me about my passport ID, I said no. He then said that he can't file a case, I said that is fine. We hung up.

Strange thing #1: the bank guy said that I'm not allowed to speak English due to the phone records will be sent to Shanghai Police. To me, that is ridiculous, I am US Citizen, they expect me not to speak English.

Strange thing #2: the bank guy said the criminal record will send me back. I kept telling him, I'm US Citizen, where are you going to send me back.

Strange thing #3: the Shanghai Police was able to get my information from the bank so quickly.

Strange thing #4: I feel that the Shanghai Police sure have nothing to do, he file a report from oversea and who is not even a Chinese citizen.

Strange thing #5: I should go into a room a lock myself inside during phone record. I feel very uncomfortable and harass by then.

I refused to deal with Chinese Police or government, but at end I am welling to file a simple Police report with them. At the end, I refused to give my ID.

Overall, I wasn't feeling scared, more or less frustrated, thinking my ID was stolen. In US, we are protected by the law not guilty until proven. And what is Shanghai Police has to do with me, who never even been in China for my whole life.

I just received a phone call in the early morning on 9/24/18, identical to the situation stated in this article. The person on the phone told me that I had a package in the Chinese Embassy for a long time, they couldn't reach me. First red flag, they should have my current address if they need send it to me. Then I asked what package is about, the person on the phone said that a lady(wang jin) was arrested in Guangzhou Custom with 30+ credit cards on hand, one of which is mine. Then he said he was told that I sold the credit card to wang jin for $3,000. Another red flag, how can he open my package without permission, in addition, it did not make any sense that I sold my own credit card. Anyway, I felt very creepy , told him that I do not have any Chinese credit card, nor identity for years. If he have nothing important, I am going to hang up. Then he was trying to threaten me if I am not cooperate with him, I will have trouble go through the Chinese custom next time. I told him have a good day, then hung up.

Almost everyone in our office received similar calls last week (all in the same afternoon; one phone after the other). They left messages in Chinese, so we had no idea what they were saying. All from 212-245 numbers (the last 4 digits were different each time). So strange.

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