Detectives issue warning to students after online scammers con Chinese student in Belfast out of £200,000 by dressing up as ‘Beijing police’
- The Chinese student studying in Belfast received calls weeks before incident
- Two men posing as Beijing policeman threatened her, demanding £200,000
- Have YOU been targeted by fraudsters? Contact [email protected]
A Chinese student in Northern Ireland has been conned out of £200,000 after two men posing as Beijing police officers threatened her with arrest if she did not pay up.
A Northern Irish detective has issued an urgent warning following the scam as it has been revealed that there have been reports of similar schemes in the past.
The recent victim received a fake phone call in recent weeks in which she was told she was suspected of being involved in money laundering.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that two other men posing as officers from ‘Beijing Police’ spoke to her and threatened her with arrest if she did not hand over hundreds of thousands of pounds.
After the transferral of funds, the woman never heard from the men again.
The PSNI said that two other men posing as officers from ‘Beijing Police’ spoke to her and threatened her. (Pictured, stock image of two Beijing officers)
Detective Superintendent Richard Thornton said: ‘This is a really despicable, calculated crime.
‘These fraudsters contacted the student online, and even went as far as dressing in uniforms claiming to be officers from ‘Beijing Police’.
‘These fraudsters went to great lengths to make themselves appear genuine, but that’s the last thing they were.’
The PSNI received two similar reports last year of scammers who had targeted Chinese students studying in Belfast.
The PSNI received similar reports of fraudsters contacting Chinese students and demanding money. (Pictured, stock photo)
They lost a total of £105,000 to fraudsters who claimed they were from the Chinese Embassy and Chinese police.
Mr Thornton said: ‘Being aware of the signs of scams can help prevent these fraudulent crimes and keep people and their money safe.
‘The reality is scammers will stop at nothing to trick you out of your money, for your loss and their gain.
‘Being scam aware can make all the difference.’
The PSNI said the easiest way to stop a scam is to apply five rules – always hang up the call immediately; always delete texts requesting personal information or bank account details; never call the number back; never click on links in text, or respond to unsolicited texts; never transfer money to another account.
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