Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry warns US-based expats about telephone scams

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday warned overseas Taiwanese in the US to be on high alert, as a large number of expatriates have received scam telephone calls made by people with Chinese accents pretending to be working for Taiwanese representative offices in the US.

Over the past few months, the nation’s representative offices in Washington, New York, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco have all reported cases to Taipei, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said

Lee said the schemes predominantly come in two forms.

First, expatriates receive telephone calls from numbers that appear to originate from their regional representative office, demanding that they wire money to an account or face a lawsuit.

These calls are fraudsters using a caller ID spoofing function that displays a telephone number different from that of the phone from which the call was actually placed, Lee said.

Another scheme involves people speaking with a Chinese accent who call an expatriate’s telephone and try to obtain his or her private information by pretending to be staff working at a representative office, Lee said.

The representative offices have reported the scams to local police, who are investigating the cases, he said.

Most of the cases were reported last month, in particular in New York City, where the representative office reported receiving as many as 300 telephone calls from expatriates who received such calls on a single night, Lee added.

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