Monterey Park Police are warning residents of phony phone calls targeting Asian residents with charges of passport fraud by persons pretending to be representing the Chinese Consulate.
One fraud occurred when the victim received a telephone call from a male or female suspect posing as an employee of the Chinese Consulate General or the Beijing Police Department.
The suspects have told the victim that they were under investigation for passport fraud or money laundering and have requested the victim to return to China for interviews and to assist with the investigation.
In each case the victim requested additional information or questioned the reason for their return to China. The suspect then requested that in lieu of returning to China the victim wire transfer a predetermined amount of money to a designated account in order to resolve the matter.
On one occasion, the unsuspecting victim completed the wire transfer of funds and later discovered that they had been defrauded.
The Monterey Park Police Department Investigations Bureau is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to identify and apprehend the perpetuators.
“ We would like to remind all persons that government officials in the United States or overseas do not and cannot contact persons telephonically or via email and demand money in order to resolve issues overseas,” a police department press release stated.
They further explained that the U.S. Government and foreign Consulate Generals do not ask for money in order to resolve passport issues or criminal investigations. If there is an issue with a passport or there is an ongoing criminal matter, you are asked to visit your local consulate or local police department to resolve the matter. If one is required to pay a fine or other penalty due to an adverse action, this arrangement is done so through the local Consulate General, U.S. Attorney’s Office, local District Attorney’s office, or local government office such as the police or city clerk’s office.
“You will always receive documentation regarding the incident and be given a receipt for any payment you make,” the police department spokesperson said.
Persons suspecting that they may be a victim of this type of fraud and reside and/or own a business in the City of Monterey Park should contact the Monterey Park Police Department at 626-573-1311. Persons residing or owning a business outside of Monterey Park who suspect they have been a victim of this scheme please contact your local police department to report the crime.
Source: Monterey Park Police Department Press Release.