Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Beware the Robocall

Avoid robocalls in Mandarin that are scams to get your money
Up until recently there was a spate of victims who were scammed by robocalls in Hong Kong. When the phone rang and you picked it up, you would hear a click and then a prerecorded message in Mandarin.

It basically said the person had a package that had to be picked up at the post office and to press a number on the dial pad to speak to a live person. It would end up being someone acting like the authorities, saying the person had broken the law because their package contained illegal items or there were insufficient funds and money needed to be transferred.

Some people were duped into giving thousands, even millions of Hong Kong dollars. For the most part residents here have wised-up and we haven't heard of more scams, except for ones involving lonely hearts. But that's another issue.

The aforementioned robocalls have now invaded the United States, Canada and Australia, targeting new immigrants from China. However, the robocalls have affected anyone with a mobile number, which is virtually anyone.

This time the prerecorded message says the person has a package at the Chinese consulate that has been there for several days and needs to be picked up, and that they should press "1" to talk to a staff member about it.

If they do press "1" they talk to a live person who claims they need their identification information and credit card numbers to verify them, which inevitably leads to money being taken.

If you do receive these calls, hang up immediately, and even better, block them on your phone.

The authorities really need to stop these robocalls. Not only are they a nuisance but they are doing something criminal.

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