Scam warning: Complex scams targeting the Australian public and international Chinese students

Monday, 15 July 2019
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is warning the public of complex social engineering fraud and telephone scams currently targeting the Chinese community in Australia, particularly international students.
These fraud and scam activities are complex and target both Australian and international victims from non-English speaking backgrounds. Current known fraud and scam activity includes the false representation of:
 ■ The Chinese Public Security Bureau or the "Virtual kidnap and extortion scam"
 ■ The Australian Tax Office (ATO) or the "Tax impersonation scam"
 ■ A Chinese Embassy official or the "Chinese embassy scam"
 ■ A logistics provider or the "Package notification scam"
If you think someone is trying to scam you, or you've been scammed, the AFP advises to cease all contact with the scammer and contact your local police or consulate immediately.
 ■ If you're in doubt, talk it over with your friends and family. The Australian government and Chinese government officials will never try to isolate you from your friends or family.
 ■ If you know someone who you think is being scammed or has indicated they are being contacted by scammers, you can help them by talking about it and reporting it.
Scams take advantage of people's trust in authorities and fear of doing the wrong thing. Victims can feel an array of emotions – from helplessness and humiliation to anger and guilt – but it's important to know you are not to blame and there is help at hand.
For more information on scams, how to report them and tips on how to protect yourself, visit the Federal Government's Scamwatch website, the ACSC's CyberOAK page, the ATO's verify or report a scam page, or contact your local police station.
If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised, contact the national identity and cyber support service (IDCARE).
Further information in Mandarin can be found at this Hightail link.
Remember, if you think it's a scam it probably is and you can help authorities investigate this fraudulent activity by reporting it.
Tips on how to protect yourself:

■ If you suspect you are involved in a scam do not send any money. Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.

■ If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

■ When dealing with uninvited contacts or unknown people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, fax, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.