When a 59-year-old deaf-mute man surnamed Hsu had an online encounter with a foreigner who claimed to be a diplomat, he nearly ended up as the victim of a fraud syndicate.
A police investigation revealed that Hsu had got to know a foreign Internet user calling himself “Alvin,” who said that he was a diplomat from a certain country but was not in a position to reveal his identity because he was on a secret mission abroad. He said he had a parcel that he urgently needed to send back to Taiwan, and he hoped Hsu could take delivery of it. Next, someone claiming to represent a courier company sent Hsu a message saying that he would need to pay tax and customs fees to collect the parcel, and asking Hsu to go to a bank to transfer the money.
Without thinking, on Jan. 11 Hsu did as he had been asked by going to Chang Hwa Bank’s Shuangyuan branch in Taipei, where he applied to transfer the sum of NT$30,000. However, the bank staff noticed that something was out of order and reported it to Wanhua Police Precinct’s Yingguang Police Station. Police officers Hsu Li-yuan and Tung Yu-hsuan hurried to the scene, where they determined that Hsu had encountered a fraud syndicate. Using written notes, the police officers told Hsu about some related cases, and only then did he give up the idea of transferring the money.
Photo copied by Wang Kuan-jen, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報王冠仁翻攝
However, the fraud syndicate was not ready to give up, and they used clever talk to persuade Hsu into making another trip to a bank on Jan. 19, this time to the Bank of Taiwan’s Longshan branch, where he applied to make a transfer of NT$84,000. Luckily, the bank staff again noticed that something was amiss and reported it to the police. On receiving the report, Deputy Chief Chen Chin-tien of Kangding Police Station went to the scene, where he used a pen and paper to explain that he was a police officer. He then read through the recorded conversations between Hsu and the other parties, from which he discovered that the fraud syndicate was once again using the same method to trick Hsu.
Wanhua Police Precinct urges the public to remember that if they receive phone calls from an unknown caller they should make detailed enquiries and immediately dial the 165 or 110 hotlines to check, so that they do not fall foul of scammers. The police said that everyone should keep in mind the triple formula of “Don’t rush; don’t be anxious; think carefully” and do a detailed check, because that is the only effective way to avoid becoming a target for scammers’ greed.
(Translated by Julian Clegg, Taipei Times)
Photo: Scamhaters United 照片：Scamhaters United
Photo: Military Romance Scams Facebook page 照片：Military Romance Scams臉書
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