A Victoria woman reported an attempted fraud to police after she was contacted over the phone by a person speaking “unaccented” Mandarin earlier this week.

According to a VicPD press release, the woman was told that the call was from the Chinese embassy, and that she was being implicated in a serious crime.

The scammer attempted to obtain personal and financial information from her. They even went so far as to prompt her to Google the number for the authority that the man claimed he was from to confirm the number he was calling from.

Growing suspicious of the caller, the woman talked to a friend and became aware that she was being scammed. She and her friend then alerted investigators to the call, and luckily no financial loss was sustained.

Similar targeted scams in BC

This is the second case of fraudsters targeting the Chinese community in Victoria. The first incident occurred in May, when an international student was held against her will and her family was extorted for money in a crime known as virtual kidnapping.

This particular type of scamming has been reported several times in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, and its occurrence in Victoria has prompted Victoria Police to issue a warning to the Chinese community on the island.

Things to remember

Victoria Police have released a list of legal facts for Chinese community members in Canada to keep in mind if they ever receive such a phone call:

  1. The Chinese Police or government cannot arrest you in Canada.
  2. All policing related contact from the Chinese government will be through local police.
  3. Canadian or Chinese authorities will not ask you to destroy a phone or to take photos or videos of yourself pretending to be the victim of a crime.
  4. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be the Chinese police and they ask you to  aid an investigation by pretending to be the victim of a crime, call (250) 995-7654 for assistance (even if they tell you not to).
  5. The Victoria Police Department is here to help you. If you feel unsafe or threatened, please call us either by dialling 911 or (250) 995-7654.

Here’s a version of the advisory in Mandarin:

(VicPD)

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