There is a new phone scam that has been targeting New Yorkers, so make sure you're on the lookout to keep yourself protected.
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs sent out an alert warning of a new cell phone scam that is targeting New Yorkers of Chinese descent.
The phone scam started with an international phone call that appears to come from Mainland China and is in Mandarin.
The call, or message if you didn't answer like me, purports to be from the Chinese Accidentary Administration and advises the person on the other end that they are calling on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, Chinese
Consulates, or even from a Chinese law enforcement agency.
In the scam, the caller appears to advise you to either pick up a package or give them financial information like bank account or credit card numbers in order to not mess with their legal status or to even avoid being arrested for some immigration crime.
It seems that the scammers are attempting to target people who have recently immigrated from China or people with Chinese surnames.
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I didn't hear anything about this scam until I got a call from these scammers today.
I didn't answer the phone when they called me; mostly because when I saw the +86 Country Code, I knew I didn't know anyone in China, so it was likely a scam. I saved the voice message they left, check it out below:
Since there is always a new phone scam, there are some basic steps you can take to make sure you stay safe and secure. According to the FTC, doing these simple steps will go a long way to help you:
Block unwanted calls and text messages.
If it's a number you don't recognize or it's sending weird messages, just block them.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
Real and legit companies will never contact you and ask for personal information. If someone does this, it's likely a scam
Don't click any links from emails you don't recognize.
It's always better safe that sorry, be extra careful when you get emails and texts that have links inside them.
Pay attention to how they tell you to pay.
If someone says you have to use a money transfer service or get a gift card, it's probably a scam.