Nowadays in China, some people will go to any lengths to make big money; recently one of the most popular ways is convincing people over-the-phone that they have an unpaid debt.
They even use their personal information to gain trust over-the-phone to get them to wire money immediately. Several people are now coming out to report these cases to warn people not to fall for these scams.
Crimes like this are becoming rampant; swindlers are obtaining personal information through places such as travel agencies, property agents, airline ticket offices, or online shopping companies.
In one case, a victim in Hong Kong received a phone call from a power company employer saying that she had not paid the bill for more than one year, and the power would be cut if she did not pay the bill immediately.
She later learned from her mother that their bill was set-up to be paid automatically from their bank account, only after she had wired the money to the account of the so-called “employer” of the power company.
These con artists are active in Chinese-speaking areas such as Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. Some of them are stationed in southeast Asian countries to make phone calls, which makes it difficult for police to trace their whereabouts.
They take advantage of people’s kindness and trust to get money, and make people no longer trust each other. Recently the South China Morning Post quoted an article from the Weixin Public Edition reporting six warnings to remember and forward to your friends to avoid falling victim to such frauds:
- If a stranger on the phone talks about your credit card which has been misused — hang up the phone.
- If you are told that you have won the lottery, and need to pay tax for it — hang up the phone.
- If someone calls you to say that they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRA) or from the courts, the power company, etc. and that you haven’t paid something or have done something wrong — hang up the phone.
- Delete any messages that are in the form of emergency notices or something that would interest you, such as your photos with links in them and words to urge you to push them.
- Delete any link from an unknown person sent to you via Weixin.
6. Don’t take any phone calls if the number starts with 170.
At the end of the quoted article, it mentioned that if you follow the six warnings the chances of being cheated are greatly reduced.
However, after reading this article a question arises: In a country without faith, where people take it for granted that they can do anything if they don’t get caught, how can one live comfortably without any worries?
Translation research by Mona Song