Chinese telephone fraudsters allegedly scamming overseas Taiwanese

2018/06/07 14:25:25 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章)/CNA file photo

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章)/CNA file photo

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) warned overseas Taiwanese in the United States Thursday to be on high alert, as a large number of Taiwanese expatriates have recently received scam phone calls made by suspects with mainland Chinese accents pretending to be working for Taiwanese representative offices in the U.S.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that over the past few months, Taiwan's representative offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco, have all reported similar cases to the MOFA's Taipei headquarters.

Lee said the scheme usually comes in two forms. First, Taiwanese expats receive automatic phone calls that are displayed as numbers originating from their regional Taiwanese representative offices, demanding that they wire money to an account or face a lawsuit.

These calls, however, are in fact scammers using a caller ID spoofing function that displays a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was actually placed, according to Lee.

Another fraud scheme involves alleged scammers speaking with a mainland Chinese accent who call an expat's phone and try to obtain his or her private information by pretending to be staff working at Taiwanese representative offices, Lee said.

The representative offices have reported the scams to local police authorities, who are now probing the cases, the spokesman said.

Most of the cases were reported last month, in particular in New York, where its Taiwan office reported receiving as many as 300 phone calls from expats who received such scam calls in a single night, he noted.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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