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Scammers Posing As Police Target Chinese Students In Australia

Chinese students studying in Australia are increasingly falling victim to scammers employing intimidating tactics.

According to the National Anti-Scam Centre, scammers impersonating Chinese police to target these students have more than doubled in August compared to previous months, causing a total of $8.7 million in losses since the beginning of the year.

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The scammers initiate contact by pretending to be from a phone company or financial institution and claim the student’s phone or identity is involved in a scam or serious financial crime. 

When the student denies involvement, they are transferred to another scammer posing as Chinese police, using spoofed phone numbers to appear official. 

The victims are then threatened with extradition to China or deportation but are offered the chance to remain in Australia during an investigation, provided they make a payment. 

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Scammers create fake documentation, including arrest warrants, to further convince the victims. In some cases, individuals posing as police officers have even visited victims’ homes in Australia.

The Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Catriona Lowe said: “This type of scam is highly sophisticated and convincing because it involves multiple perpetrators who play on their victim’s fears by threatening them and their family with years of jail time.”

To protect themselves, individuals are advised to be cautious of unsolicited calls, messages, or emails, especially when the caller claims to be from a trusted company or government department.

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