By Liu Chen of RNZ
An Auckland single mum has to work two jobs to support her family after losing $200,000 to scammers posing as Chinese officials.
Netsafe said hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost in the past two years to what’s known as the “Chinese embassy scam”.
Auckland woman Wendy (a pseudonym) received a call after dinner in early May.
The caller claimed he was from Shanghai Communications Administration and Wendy was involved in sending scam text messages in China.
Though originally from Guangzhou in south China, Wendy has not been back in years.
She was suspicious at first but they managed to dupe her as they knew her name and other details.
“They must have gone through some training as the way they talked, the tone, all sounded very similar to those from the authorities… It sounded very authoritative and convincing. Even the language and terms they used sounded very official.”
She explained that it could not be her and the caller suggested she report it to police in Shanghai as it was likely that she was a victim of identity theft.
The caller offered to transfer her and another man picked up the phone, claiming himself to be an officer.
He asked for Wendy’s Chinese ID number and told her she was a suspect in a large scale fraud.
The so-called officer even gave Wendy his badge number and offered to call her back to show that he was really from the police – and his phone number matched with the official number Wendy had found online.