Scammed by the fake Chinese police

submitted by jeffw

www.bbc.com/news/articles/c6p2lq0qk41o

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A British-Chinese woman has told the BBC that she handed over her life savings to con men who wore uniforms in video calls and gave her a virtual tour of what appeared to be a police station.

Helen Young still has nightmares about the fortnight that she was made to believe she was on China’s most wanted list.Scammers posing as Chinese police manipulated the London-based accountant into believing she was under investigation for a massive fraud back in her homeland.Helen was presented with a mountain of fabricated evidence which appeared to implicate her in a crime she knew nothing about.When the fake police then threatened her with extradition to a jail cell in China, Helen sent them her £29,000 life savings as “bail money”, in a desperate attempt to stay in Britain.“I feel a bit stupid right now,” she says.

She spent her evenings working on a personal statement that she was ordered to write, detailing every aspect of her life.Then Officer Fang called back with the news that several suspects were now in custody.

After sending over her bank statements for inspection, she was told to transfer £29,000.“I felt terrible, because I promised my daughter to give her money for her first flat,” Helen says.But a few days later the fake police were back.

In some extraordinary cases, some Chinese foreign students who can’t meet the financial demands of the fake police have been persuaded to fake their own kidnappings in order to seek a ransom from their families.Detective Superintendent Joe Doueihi of New South Wales Police fronted a publicity campaign to warn about so-called virtual or cyber-kidnappings, after a series of cases in Australia.“Victims are coerced into making their own video of them being in a vulnerable position, to appear as if they've been kidnapped - tied up with tomato sauce on their body to make it look like they've been bleeding, and calling for help from their loved ones,” he says.

Many of these frauds are thought by experts to be run by Chinese organised crime groups operating from compounds in countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.Chinese state media has reported that tens of thousands of suspects have been returned to China over the last year.Awareness of these types of scams is growing.


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6 Comments

JeeBaiChow

There shouldn't even be real Chinese police outside of china. Just saying.

fubo

There is a word for country X trying to operate a government function inside country Y's territory, without country Y's permission. That word is "invasion".

maynarkh

What if permission is given? Asking for a friend

Echo Dot

These are just common con artists but they do it all remotely they don't actually leave China, assuming they're even in China to begin with.

I'm a bit baffled by why anyone would give them money though, since even if you *were* guilty of a crime in China, the UK doesn't extradite people to China because of their record on human rights, or lack thereof, so there wouldn't really be any need to pay bail money anyway. Plus of course most people have never committed any crime in China, a lot of them will have never even been there or only been there as children.

Plus you pay bail money after you've been arrested, in order to get bailed, not before you're arrested in order to prevent it.

AwesomeLowlander , edited

I’m a bit baffled by why anyone would give them money though, since even if you were guilty of a crime in China, the UK doesn’t extradite people to China

Childhood indoctrination to obey the authorities, plus awareness that if China wants you back, they probably won't use the official extradition process. See the recent examples:

Rimu

Wow that is amazingly elaborate!