Building a Digital Defense Against the Chinese Embassy Scam

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) has received reports from hundreds of victims in what’s called the Chinese Embassy Scam. There are several different variations of this scheme… but, typically, it involves the victim receiving a message by phone, text, or chat application from someone claiming to be from a Chinese embassy or consulate or Chinese business. The fraudster tells the victims they are under investigation and, in order to assist Chinese law enforcement, they must speak to an investigator. In another variation of the scam, victims receive messages from people claiming to work for Chinese credit card companies. If you receive a call from a number that appears to be from the Chinese embassy or a Chinese credit card company or business, find a publicly available number and call back yourself. Remember—if you have been victimized by an online scam, you can report your suspicious contacts to the FBI.

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