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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.


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Mike D
April 20, 2018

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?

John Kay
May 15, 2018

In reply to by Mike D

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.
See Dee
May 21, 2018

In reply to by Mike D

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 ....
June 09, 2018

In reply to by Mike D

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
June 17, 2019

In reply to by Mike D

There should be a page and people can list the number of these scam calls, and mark them as "UnSave". Someone should taking care of this. From 6/11 I received these calls from 202-895-1245 202-895-4662 202-895-3841 202-895-7758 202-895-7307 202-895-9544 202-895-4091 212-695-3125 415-868-4091 Even received voice mails from 212-868-3404.
April 13, 2021

In reply to by QPCB

Two added to list, please be aware! +86 (21) 10086 +86 (21) 52310086
April 18, 2018
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.
September 03, 2019

In reply to by Fudim

Blame it on telephone companies who service us, they should authenticate these calls (even if VOIP) they have control of who they accept calls from. They should authenticate VOIP provider, source, number including how many calls received from that number and how many were reported spam and block the VOIP provider or just stop VOIP services (no one needs VOIP these days, yeah some might need it however most require it from anonymous purposes or free and if that’s being abused just stop connecting VOIP services to paying customers. Is it really hard for network providers to take this decision? Do they want paying customers OR freeloading VOIP users even if only few are scammers and spammers? Until they have better technology to stop spam/scam calls STOP serving VOIP calls to public.
April 18, 2018
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.
recent china visitor
September 12, 2018

In reply to by P.J.

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.
November 16, 2019

In reply to by recent china visitor

I received a call from the "Chinese embassy" earlier today. I don't have a Chinese surname nor have I ever been to China. I simply hung up. The number was 415-563-2192 and showed up as being from San Francisco, California.
April 18, 2018
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
FTC Staff
April 18, 2018

In reply to by Deb&Corkyluvs

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

May 21, 2018

In reply to by Deb&Corkyluvs

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.
April 18, 2018

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

May 27, 2019

In reply to by cinderella

There is a consulate general of China in NYC and that 212-244-9392 is one of the numbers listed on their website. So either someone somehow impersonated it or that one was a legit call. I such got a call from 212-868-2078, which caller ID shows as the consulate general with their actual address and website, but when I googled and went to their website this number is not listed, they do however have phone call fraud warnings listed.
April 19, 2018
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.
May 10, 2018

In reply to by Bobby

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
May 23, 2018

In reply to by Bobby

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.
June 09, 2018

In reply to by Nancy

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
June 05, 2018

In reply to by Bobby

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
June 26, 2018

In reply to by Zoey

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?
Frank v
April 23, 2018
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.
April 20, 2018
In DC and Virginia area the call is from this number: 202-465-6162.
May 17, 2018

In reply to by DC

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.
May 21, 2018

In reply to by DC

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.
May 27, 2018

In reply to by Joe

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
September 12, 2019

In reply to by Joe

I received a call from that exact number as well. The scammer over the phone seemed rather incompetent as if they are trying to figure out what to say next. I literally asked them, what do you want me to do? They said, "yeah you should report it to China police/authority" I asked, how do I do that? They seemed confused, and asked me what do I mean. I said, what is the method to call the Chinese authorities? At some point they just hung up... I was a confused too...
April 23, 2018
thanks for the warning
April 21, 2018
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?
April 22, 2018
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.
April 27, 2018

In reply to by WellWell

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?
May 16, 2018

In reply to by #metoo

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.
June 28, 2018

In reply to by #metoo

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.
July 21, 2018

In reply to by WellWell

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
April 22, 2018
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.
April 29, 2018

In reply to by convertedtoapple

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.
John in Boston
April 25, 2018
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.
scam report
April 25, 2018
1-415-852-3197 is a scam call leaving a voicemail requesting documents.
April 26, 2018
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.
April 26, 2018

In reply to by FBL

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.
FTC Staff
April 27, 2018

In reply to by SY

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

May 28, 2018

In reply to by SY

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,
May 16, 2018

In reply to by FBL

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.
FTC Staff
May 22, 2018

In reply to by LLC

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 website.