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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

Just got phone call and vm from 415-852 3150 and 415-852 1999. Voicemail stated that it was from Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. Same stories like previous comments like someone named Wang Jing (王静) entered China with five passports, and one of it was mine...Luckily I quickly realized that this could be scam. So I quickly said that I am going to call back to Chinese Consulate to verify and I hung up. The lady quickly called back with another number 415-852 1999...Crazy scammer out there, be aware...

My friend got scammed and actually wire money to the scammer. But the police can't do much to help. Any more ideas how to help my friend and stop other people from being scammed?

I keep receiving this same call from different phone numbers which sounds like Chinese. I was certain it was a scam, but I finally decided to have it translated using the Google translator.

"Here is the Chinese Consulate Document to inform you that there is an important document that has not yet been received. If you have any questions, please click on the bell tour method and the department Lianfeng to find you."

If it was important, I would know about it already. I wish there was a way to put a stop to it. Thanks for the FTC for providing this website.

My wife gets this every day, and I've gotten it once. My cell number has a Midwestern area code, and I got a call from a Chicago (312) number. Her number has a New England area code, and she got calls from her own area code and from (800). Our last name is very German. We did get visas from the Chinese consulate in Chicago several years ago, but I'm guessing that's just a red herring.

MY WIFE IS ON THE VERGE OF BEING SWINDLED THROUGH A COMPANY ---[KINGMOUNT INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.] , SHE HAS PAID ALREADY $1 , 000. 00[ ONE THOUSAND USD] BUT THEY KEEP CHANGING PHONE NUMBERS , HOW DO WE KNOW THEY ARE GENUINE , AFTER PAYMENT OF THE LAST $578.00 ? WE WANT THESE INVESTIGATED .

Just got a call from (713) 520-6620, but didn't answer. I never answer if I don't know who it is. Female caller left a VM message speaking all in Chinese. I've blocked the number with my cellular provider.

I have been receiving robocalls in Mandarin originating from telephone numbers in New York, and most recently Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. I don't speak Mandarin so I have no idea what the message is about. However, it is very annoying to constantly receive such calls.

Spoke chinese...I hung up and blocked.

I just received a call from 213 119 8161. I am presuming it was in Chinese. I let it go on for about 30 seconds then I said "English." They then hung up on me.

Goggled number & seems to be an ongoing robo call scam. I'm not Chinese & don't understand a word the non-scrupulous people are saying. Stupid scammers probably targeting anyone now, including non-chinese people! How dumb are these people?

Called left message in mandarin referencing JP Morgan Chase. I don't even speak mandarin. Receiving several calls of this type from different numbers. My caller ID showed number as: (800) 798-0579 .

Got a similar Mandarin call from (213)808-5334 claiming Chinese Consulate in LA and some activity related somebody to arrested by Chinese Police. It smells like a scam. Here's another number that associate with this scam (213)201-1765

I received a voicemail message on November 15, 2018 from number 312-453-6237 from a soft spoken Chinese woman. I used a translator app on my smart phone to get the message in English. The English translation from the app is as follows: “Hello, here is the Chinese consulate document to inform you that there is an important document that has not yet been received. If you have any questions, please check with the travel law and department staff.”

# called regarding a package at the embassy and someone arrested that is holding a passport has my name on it. I told her no way and I will stop by to pick up the package myself. Then I hung up
the number that they called 415-850-7458

Received a call with caller ID showing as, "Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles". I did not answer the call and there was no voicemail recorded. The calling number was +1-213-807-8088. Was this a legit call from the consulate?

I have a Chinese last name. I do understand a very limited Chinese words. I get quite a few of these voice mail. Ain't falling for it because I have no clue what they're saying. The only words I pick up is "Chinese embassy". The rest sounds gibberish to me. Nice try scammers!

Irony is? I was a Chinese Linguist in the military YEARS ago, so caught me off guard. they called my cell and left a vm, which i in turn listened to. I know better than to think it was anything other than a scam, but the irony is just too much.

I received a phone call over the weekend from the same number. The message was in Chinese and thankfully I was able to have someone translate it for me and she told me about the scam.

If you go on your local embassy's website, they have a 24 hr number for Consular Assistance and Protection that you can call to confirm you're being scammed. If you can't find the number for your local embassy, here is the global emergency helpline 0086-10-12308. To be clear, a call from the Chinese Embassy is 100% a scam, but this was the only way I could convince my family member that she was being scammed. It's hard to reach a real person using the general contact number. The scam alert on the Chinese embassy's official website and here on FTC was not enough. The scammers were that good.

I tried to tell her that it sounded like a scam before she gave her information, but she didn't believe me. By the time I found this page and the scam alert from the Chinese embassy and finally was able to reach said family member, she had already given her passport number and was ready to give more. She still wasn't 100% convinced that it was a scam! Please please please tell everyone you know that has any business with the Chinese embassy this scam because they're the ones most likely to fall for it.

just talk to the scammer, he said i have to personally collect the letter in China Consulate in Houston, and said my US passport was found in Shanghai Airport with a man. I am not US citizen, so i realized this is a total scam and hung up! the number is +7137189621

We get at least one call a day from a woman speaking Chinese. Can't understand anything and we don't answer. Calls used to come from an different 800 no. each day. Now they come from a 202 exchange 202-533-5364 and 202-524-6653 today/

Tried to buy Norton thru Walmart. Found it was linked to Chinese company who didn't sent code key to download Norton w/o them accessing your computer direct. Didn't let them. Lost $35 & Walmart refused to reimburse. Also coincided with getting 202 area code Chinese language recorded messages. Seems related, may not be. Also lost on three other deals with Chinese vendors on Walmart. They wanted me to return my items that were wrong sizes & parts and sent instructions in Chinese with shipping address in China. That's another $50 and Walmart also refused to reimburse. Seems to be a theme going here. May not be, but might be.

I just recently started to get these VM's to my cell phone. The messages are in Mandarin/Chinese. My friend and I share the same cell phone account and he receives them within 10 minutes of me. No idea what they are saying. The number doesn't show up on my caller id at all so I can't search online for it. Been leaving messages every day at various times. I never hear the phone ring, but my phone chims that I have a new voicemail.

I got into a conversation of this kind. Somehow he got my name, phone# and Chinese id before I hung up. Besides FTC, what other US and Chinese authority should be notified? Thanks.

Before I usually got 1 or 2 scam calls per week. But, yesterday, I received 9 calls. All used different numbers. Most of them were from area code 202. They all indicated that they were calling from Consulate General (note: not Consulate General of the People's Republic of China), and they had a letter for me (?? I am US citizen). They spoke very good Mandarin.
I am working at home. It bothers me a lots.

I received a scam call from a woman who says she was from China Consulate office. She said my China Visa has been cancelled because a woman carried 10 passports got caught in New York airport and my US passport is 1 of the 10 passport she held. ....bla bla bla. I think she will ask me to send money next. But I had to leave for a meeting so I hung up the phone before she asked. I got worried at first. Be careful!

I resent this and someone should do something about it! My husband, a veteran died recently. I received a call from this number today only it showed up as the Veteran’s Administration on my phone!

I received a call on my cell phone from ‭+1 (202) 495-9028‬ and it showed up as a Washington DC number on the caller ID. When I answered the call it was a pre-recorded audio of a woman speaking in another language (presumably Chinese) and had music in the background. When the audio cutout and there was silence, I assume the caller noticed I didn’t understand the message and they hung up. After looking the phone number up on google, all of the suggested pages hinted at this being a scam. After reading the comments on this page, I decided to call the number back to see if it would go through or not. After continued ringing a man eventually picked up the phone on the other end and said “Hello?” at this point, I hung the phone up and decided to write a comment about the number as it was very strange to me that when I answered, it was a pre-recorded audio of a woman in another language, and when I called back it was the deep voice of a man who answered. I have a pretty unique first and last name, but do not think they would seem Chinese to someone else.

Scam report:
202 895 8252
202 895 8077

I have received around half a dozen calls from this number. I have applied for Chinese visas with the Washington embassy multiple times and believe this is related. I do not have a Chinese name.

Add ‭+1 (202) 495-2237‬ to the list

This scammers are cute. I connected with a live scammer and they said they had received a package from Shanghai PD after I gave them a fake name and a fake DOB. They then said someone get caught in Shanghai Airport was having 12 passport and one of those were mine. They then connect me to the Shanghai PD directly and I pretend I forgot the file number. They make it so real that they call me back with a Shanghai number. I told them I have my passport for all the time and they said they need to talk to me in detail later.
Important notice, they make it so real that I can only tell they are scam because they "find me" with all the fake information. It might be a good idea to let the people around you know that this is a scam call if you see this post. After all, China embassy will not call you unless you have previously call them for something.

Appears the calls in Chinese calls are still continuing. I just received this call to my office number.

I just got a call from 713-520-4305 and immediately heard a Chinese recording so hung up and blocked and deleted the number immediately.

I just received a call frim the "Chinese consulate" in New York from 212-355-4748. It was fake and I knew it and hung up immediately. I have gotten tons of calls from a Chinese robocall that I blocked until they ceased. I have no business with China and do not have a Chinese name. The same with Russian and other calls e.g. medical. They are all hustles. Block and report. Never entertain.

I got a call from ‭+1 (713) 449-2312‬ on Sunday morning saying that Chinese Consulate Office Houston branch has a package for me to pick up. It’s prerecorded. Then they transferred me to a “representative” on the phone asking me for the package number but I didn’t. So they started asking for my personal info. I discontinued the conversation immediately. I’m reporting this number and hoping that nobody else would fall into the trap.

I just saw all these articles from 2018, but I just started getting these calls, several times a week, a few weeks ago--in 2019, more than a year later. I was wondering why I kept getting pre-recorded messages in an Asian language I couldn't understand, and I kept hanging up and blocking numbers...but they were coming from everywhere. Two calls in the same day--one came from MY area in North Carolina, and the other came from Los Angeles, CA.

Everything I see says to report these to the FTC...but how does one do that, and does it do any good? Because if they're calling from outside the country, and spoofing numbers, how is the FTC going to stop them?

Received one from 202-495-8898. First recorded message was in English about documents for pickup then Chinese which I don’t understand.

Since I already know it’s scam/spam and they already have my number, I have started pressing 9 to get someone online and then just mute my phone to waste these guys time and hopefully bug/frustrate them out.
They speak in Chinese which I don’t understand, I just let them speak without me responding and then they end the call.

I just got a call from a Chinese Consulate office 202-831-9582. I know it was a scam call and I've blocked it.

got a call from 312 475 3243- said Tom Lavelle on smart call id. robo recording

Today, my roommate received a call from the 'Japanese Consulate'.
They actually left a voicemail. If the FTC is interested I can have her contact your complaint line and give specifics.

So I got a call from these stupid scammers and they left a message with a lady speaking in Chinese and then an translates message in English. Yes, they are pretending that you have a package/mail that hasn’t been delivered. I looked up the contact number for the Chinese Consulate General and (213) 820-9271‬ is definitely NOT the number. I’m so fed up receiving multiple calls EVERYDAY claiming they’re either Social Security, the Apple iPhone technical support, and now the Chinese Consult General. Please please please be careful before picking up these calls and giving out your info over the phone. Unless I’m contacting an establishment myself, I will not pick up or give out my information. Isn’t there a higher power who can help stop these leeching scammers? No matter how many times I block numbers or put myself on the the do not call registry, nothing works.

It’s so sad I got another call impersonating the Chinese Consulate General but from a different number. This time it’s from (213) 534-7595‬. They left the same exact voicemail. So I figured I’d call and give them a piece of my mind. The first number that called me no longer works. It’s been disconnected. Now this latest number, it just rang and went to a voicemail saying that it’s a Google voicemail. Hmm...so I guess these shady people are creating lines with Google and using them to scam people. What the heck?? How is Google not yet involved in stopping this??

Received a call from 312.967.1267 saying they were with the Chinese consulate office. When I returned the call some strange man answered and started asking me who I was. I hung up. SPAM!

I received such a call today from 212-628-5557

I just got a call about this today from 312-886-2696. I hung up as soon as I heard it was the Chinese Consulate as I knew it had to be a scammer.

Received call 2x that says Chinese Consulate has not received an important document. My name is NOT a Chinese name. I've blocked caller ID.

I just received a call from 1-877-487-2778, it was a call that did not ring just showed as a missed call on my phone. When I called back it switched to 1-713-556-2179 a gentleman spoke in Chinese and identified himself as Ma Xing 马新 with ID of 1618 wanted me to use their special service line to the Public Security Bureau in Beijing through his supposed P.R. China consulate in Houston, USA. His approach and narrative was exactly as outlined by Patti Poss. I refused to continue to be transferred to the direct line of the PSB in Beijing. I mentioned that it was 1:57am in China and I doubt anyone is answering the phone at this hour. I also demanded that I continue to use their services the next day or two after consulting with my own US State Department and attorney. I also insisted to see the travel ban he said that the Chinese government issued for me with the state seal in person in the company of my attorney. Well I will still report this to the state department but I am glad all he got was my full name in English and my Chinese name. Both have been exposed online through various data breaches any how... I am not going to call back.

You say to just hang up and report to the FTC. Where is the link to the form I can fill out to report this? Could you make it easy for us by pointing to where to go? Please, give us some instructions.

You can report a problem to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint.

There is also a link to "File a Consumer Complaint" in the blue band at the bottom of each page.

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