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Warning after scammers steal millions from Chinese Kiwis

Hibiscus Coast App

RNZ

20 June 2024, 7:37 PM

Warning after scammers steal millions from Chinese Kiwis

Members of the Chinese community are being warned about an investment scam emerging on some social media.


Police are investigating two cases where victims have been conned out of millions of dollars.


Detective Senior Sergeant Rob Hunkin, of Counties Manukau CIB, said the scammers were initially contacting victims through WeChat or Telegram asking them to "invest" in an Australian investment platform.





"Once victims are hooked, an initial investment payment is made by international bank transfer.


"Eventually, the scammer will advise victims to pay into the scheme further in cash only."


Payments were then being made in person with offenders going to a victim's house or pre-arranging to meet them at a set location.


"The truth is that there is no investment platform - this is a scam," Detective Senior Sergeant Hunkin said.


"Police are continuing to investigate these two cases, but we need the community's support to help raise awareness of what is happening."


He said police recognised the schemes might sound rewarding.


Scammers were continuing to reinvent ways of deceiving people out of their money, Hunkin said.


"Our advice to anyone is to be extremely cautious if you are ever approached about making an investment into a project or scheme.


"It is essential that you do research to ensure the company is genuine before you hand over any money.


"If you cannot verify whether a person or scheme is what they say they are, never hand over any money and cease any contact."





A legitimate investment will never require cash being handed over.


He urged people to share the police's advice among their families and friends.


"The last thing we want to see is more people fall victim to these scams."


Advice to prevent being scammed:


  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Seek advice from a trusted friend or family member, or someone who has knowledge of investments before sending any money anywhere
  • If you are being contacted by scammers, cease communicating with them
  • Never hand over any money, as well as a personal or financial information


Anyone who suspected they might have been the victim of fraud, should contact police online, or call them on 105.