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Authorities on Monday issued a warning about a phone scam targeting San Francisco’s Chinese-American community, with a victim will lose almost $3 million.
The scam, called “The Chinese Embassy Phone Scam,” calls their goals in the Mandarin and claims to be from the Chinese Embassy. The scammers then try to convince the people that they are guilty of financial fraud and only by sending the money abroad, they can clear their name, SFGate reported.
“The Chinese Embassy Phone Scam is a complex scheme designed to scare people into turning over their money,” district Attorney George Gascón told the outlet. “As soon as someone sends their money to scammers abroad, it is incredibly difficult to recover. Prevent the scam before it occurs is our best tool to combat these ploys.”
“As soon as someone sends their money to scammers abroad, it is incredibly difficult to recover.
– District Attorney George Gascón
Government issued a warning about the scam, and a public awareness and prevention event on Monday in Chinatown, as the scammers are focused on the Chinese-American community.
“We have seen a very large increase in the number of scam phone calls in San Francisco,” said Alex Bastian, a district attorney spokesperson. “We’re trying to prevent these scams from happening, because as soon as the money let US do not forget us of the power, but also the federal government is not competent. Once the money is gone, the money is gone.”
The public awareness event educated residents about how to know whether they speak with officials of the embassy or they are crooks. According to Gascón, is a direct red flag is being asked for the person that the information of the embassy generally does not ask for personal information over the phone.
“Just hang up the phone. If you don’t know them, don’t talk with them, especially in this day and age.”
– Jason Collom, a senior inspector for the district attorney’s office
“Just hang up the phone,” Jason Collom, a senior inspector for the district attorney’s office, told SFGate. “If you don’t know them, don’t talk with them, especially in this day and age.”
Scammers have plagued the Chinese-American community in the past few years. Earlier this year, another scam called the Gold Scam focused on the community and managed to siphon of tens of thousands of dollars.
In 2013 and 2014, a million dollars worth of goods were stolen from the residents in San Francisco after the Blessing Scam that convinced elderly Chinese that they need to cleanse evil spirits from their money and jewelry.
Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.