NOTICE: International robocall scam targeting Chinese visitors and immigrants
This information was sent to the IT Security Community and Frontline Notify (FLN) via email on November 20, 2018.
The U-M International Center posted a warning encouraging students who receive these calls and are unsure what to do to contact the International Center or the U-M Police Department (734-763-1131): WARNING: Be Aware of Scam (Fake) Consulate/IRS/FBI/USCIS Phone Calls - Don't Lose Your Money!
People across the country, including members of the university community, are receiving scam robocalls in Mandarin. The caller typically claims to be from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. In some cases, the recipient is warned they are in trouble with Chinese authorities or the police; in other cases, they are told they need to pick up a document or package. Those who follow the robocall prompts are eventually asked for money.
This is a phone scam that has been moving through major metropolitan areas in the U.S. for months. It typically targets areas with large Chinese populations. The caller is not from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. The caller is a scammer trying to trick you into sending money.
If you get one of these calls, just hang up. If you wish, you can also report the call to the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant.
Please share this information, including the references below, with your colleagues, who may be receiving these calls.
- People have reported losing thousands to Chinese-language phone scams, but what can be done? (NBC News, 9/12/18)
- Robocalls aren't stopping and this time they're in Chinese (USA Today, 7/3/18)
- What's behind all those Chinese-speaking robocalls (CBS News Money Watch, 5/18/18)
- Chinese Robocalls Bombarding The U.S. Are Part Of An International Phone Scam (NPR, 5/10/18)
- Those Chinese-language robocalls are a scam to get your bank information, officials say (The Washington Post, 6/25/18)
- Elaborate phone scams targeting Chinese speakers in the US (Inkstone, 6/26/18)
- The FTC warns of robot calling spam targeting Chinese speakers (The Verge, 4/22/18)
- Scammers impersonate the Chinese Consulate (Federal Trade Commission, 4/18/18)
- Safe Computing: Phone Scams and Voice Phishing (Vishing)