The Waterloo Regional Police are warning the East Asian community in Waterloo Region after receiving two reports of international wire-transfer extortion scams. Both victims are students at local universities and sustained a combined loss of more than $150,000.00.

Both scams were similar in nature and contained many of the same key indicators: 

  • A telephone call purporting to come from a member of the Chinese Government, or Chinese Embassy, alleging that the victim has been implicated in the commission of a criminal offence in China. 

  • An insistence that the victim report their location and activities to Chinese authorities multiple times daily. 

  • Communication with alleged Chinese authorities, including police, prosecutors, and judges, either over the telephone or through internet-based applications such as Skype. 

  • The provision of authentic looking, digitized police identification, including a police badge containing an image of a male in uniform and an accompanying identification number. 

  • The identification of a male named “Liu Yan” as the chief suspect in China. 

  • The allegation that there was a warrant issued for the victim’s arrest in China. 

  • A request for access to the victim’s bank account in order to “prove” that illegal money was not laundered through their accounts, and a subsequent request to transfer large sums of money to a bank…

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