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.