Thu, Jul 11, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Foreign ministry warns people of passport scams

Staff writer, with CNA

Several Taiwanese have given their passport to someone offering a great overseas opportunity only to find that they were the victims of fraud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday, as it urged people not to give their passport to strangers.

News Web site ETtoday reported that a man recruited Taiwanese via Facebook to build concert stages in Australia, promising free travel and high salaries.

He asked recruits to hand over their passports so that he could help them get through the necessary steps for going abroad.

Several Taiwanese believed the man and gave him their passport, but they were later unable to contact him, or to retrieve their passport.

Fearing that their passport would be sold to a criminal ring, some of them reported the situation to the government.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that the ministry has heard from 19 people who handed their passport over to a stranger in the hope of getting overseas work only to find that they had been the victim of a scam aimed at getting hold of passports.

Lee did not say if the victims were all part of the same fraud case or how widespread such scams are.

He simply urged travelers to choose trustworthy travel agencies and intermediaries, and to never give their passport to someone they do not know, or whose identity is not clear.

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