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Victoria Police Warn Against Scam Targeting Mandarin-Speaking Community

Victoria Police have issued a new warning about a scam targeting the Mandarin-speaking community worldwide. While reports of the threat began in 2017, they stopped during COVID-19 restrictions. Now, since international students have begun returning to Australia for their studies, reports of the scam have recommenced.

With recent large-scale hacks targeting major companies across Australia, cyber security has been of increasing importance. 

Here’s what you need to know about this particular scam, and how you can keep yourself safe.

How does the scam work?

As outlined by Victoria Police, the scam involves pre-recorded messages in Mandarin left via voicemail or on social media networks such as WeChat and WhatsApp. The message tells victims they have a parcel on hold for them, and may include threats:

  • To transfer large sums of money
  • Of extortion via fake kidnappings
  • Of deportation or arrest.

Victims who respond to the call may be transferred to people claiming to be from a courier service who tells the victim they have been implicated in a crime, and the parcel with their name on it has been intercepted.

Messages like this are always a lie. 

Read more: Cyber Security 101: How to Outsmart Scammers & Stay Safe Online

For more details about this scam, or if you believe you are a victim, refer to the Victoria Police fact sheets below (in English and Mandarin) for information. This information is relevant to anyone in Australia.