Police are urging expatriates as well as overseas Chinese and gold-collar workers to be extremely cautious following several reports of telecom-related scams after two expats last week were part of one of the largest scams Shanghai has seen in recent years.
Shanghai Daily reports that last week, two expats from the Pudong New Area were swindled out of 24 million yuan (3.9 million USD) in the largest scam case reported within Shanghai in several years.
According to the report, swindlers used to target seniors or people with education, but recently they have turned their tricks on to expats and Chinese returnees who are not entirely familiar with the Chinese law.
According to the Daily, frauds include winning lotteries, random transfer requests, unsecured loans, credit card overdrafts and suspiciously low prices on products.
Police offered these tips to the Daily:
Do not give away bank accounts and passwords easily. No matter how good their story sounds, swindlers will inevitably ask for bank card information. There are no such things as “safe accounts” and one should not transfer money into accounts provided by others. Public security bureau officials, if they need information, will do so face-to-face, instead of asking for accounts and passwords on the phone.
Telecom companies, commercial banks and social security system have separate working platforms. Be careful when a swindler claims he can help you contact police or asks you to transfer money into “safe accounts.”
Seems fairly obvious, really, but at least these victims face less embarrassment than those getting sextorted.