In the latest of Beijing scams, two of my friends have recently received a very similar automated voice message phone call, notifying them that they had a kuaidi (or delivery) that they have not yet collected. After the message, they were put through to a person.
In the first case, the friend was told that somebody had tried to apply for a bank card using his details, and asked said friend for his personal details in order to check what was going on. Upon demonstrating that they doubted the caller, a number was given to call which actually matched a Shanghai police branch, however, they never contacted my friend again after he refused to answer the second and third call.
In the second case, my other friend was passed onto the ‘police’ directly following the automated message, who warned him that somebody had applied for a visa bank card with their details in Shanghai before adding that they should move all their money into a security account, to keep it away from the thieves. The caller then said that this could be accessed with a special bank card that they would send to their embassy. However, as suspected, the embassy had never heard of this before, and warned of a scam.
In both cases the police knew their full names, their phone numbers, and which bank they were with.
- Do not give out any personal information over the phone.
- Do not trust anybody over the phone, even if they say they are from a bank, or the embassy.
- If you have given out your bank information, call your bank to cancel your card.
- If somebody tells you that your embassy is involved, check with them before you confirm anything.
- Don’t learn Chinese, as this all happened in Chinese (just kidding).
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on September 18, 2015