Chinese post-secondary students scammed out of $1.7m, police say
The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) has issued a warning asking residents to be careful not to fall for a scam targeting Chinese post-secondary students.
Twelve people – all students – said they fell victim to the scam with a combined financial loss of approximately $1.76 million, police said in a statement.
Scammers will call potential victims claiming to be from a courier company or law enforcement and falsely accuse the person of fraud and to be investigated, police said.
const. Dan Cimermancic of the WRPS’ Organized Business and Financial Crimes Unit says there may be more victims in the area who have not filed a complaint with the police.
He says students may be more vulnerable to the scam.
« It makes sense since the student is isolated from family members and loved ones who are back in Asia, » Cimermancic said.
The police department’s Organized Commercial and Financial Crimes Unit is currently reviewing reported fraud cases.
The unit offered the following tips to avoid being scammed:
- Do not follow the instructions of Mandarin-speaking robocallers.
- Beware of requests to send funds to bank accounts in China or Hong Kong.
- Do not disclose personal information, including banking information, over the phone.
- Request the information in writing.
- To hang up.
Those who believe they have been targeted by the scam are encouraged to file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center or report to local law enforcement.