Two university students in Waterloo were defrauded of more than $150,000 combined. The students were made to believe they were implicated in a crime in China.
After heavily investigating this case, The Waterloo Regional Police Service issued a warning to the East Asian community in the region to be aware of the scam.
Both students received phone calls from fraudsters pretending to be Chinese government or the Chinese embassy which included police, lawyers and judges, in other phone calls or online. The person said the students had been “implicated in the commission of a criminal offence in China.” and asked for their location and activities several times a day.
Police said that the fraudster request access to the victim’s bank account to ‘prove’ that they were not laundered illegal money. The fraudster also requested the students to transfer large sums of money to a bank account in Hong Kong that specializes in ‘money tracing.
A scam like this occurred last year at the University of Waterloo to student Aaron Yau was defrauded of $100,000 in a similar scam.
Differing from the two students this year, Yau received a phone call saying that a package in his name was being held by customs officials in China because it contained banned materials. He also acknowledges that this stolen money has added heavy financial stress to the student loans he was already facing.
Police said that to avoid fraud, people should never provide personal information, including bank account information or social insurance numbers, to people over the phone.
Police ask anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam, or suffer financial loss due to a scam to report it through the service’s website or call 519-570-9777 (this is a non-emergency number).
Furthermore, people who have received similar calls or messages, but did not suffer a financial loss, are encouraged to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit the Anti-Fraud Centre website. This article was originally sourced by: https://www.cbc.ca/