Bellevue Police are seeing an increase in fraud, theft, and ID theft cases involving people claiming to be Chinese government or law enforcement officials. The suspects contact the victim, claim they are in trouble and must pay money to fix the problem, even threaten that they may be arrested or deported. The scams take many forms, wiring money, purchasing and electronically sending gift cards, or telling someone to withdraw cash and hand it over.
In one case, the suspects cloned phone numbers from a local cell phone company and even sent the victim “official-looking” credentials, which prompted the victim to believe it was real. These are scams! Victims are losing tens of thousands of dollars to these frauds.
Please do not reply or cooperate with anyone claiming to be an overseas official asking you for money. If you don’t know them, don’t trust them. Instead, call your local police department, and they will check it out. It is better to take the time to verify than to be out thousands of dollars.