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Scam targets China-NZ money transfers during COVID-19

Page last updated: 8 Sep 2020

Media Release
MR No. 2020 – 30
8 September 2020

Read in Mandarin

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning people to be wary of scammers attempting to impersonate the FMA as part of a money transfer scam.

On 5 August, the FMA was contacted by a woman who had tried to transfer a significant amount of money from China to New Zealand, saying she and her family had been “stranded in New Zealand” due to COVID-19 and had needed the money for living expenses.

She said she had seen an advertisement on a community news outlet offering money transfer services, and arranged the transfer via WeChat. The money was sent to a bank in Inner Mongolia.

However, when the money didn’t arrive, the woman was told it had been “frozen” by the FMA due to money laundering suspicions. She was later phoned by a man posing as an FMA official, falsely saying she would have to pay more to release the original sum – which, unfortunately, she did.

Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation, said it was a troubling case, targeting those affected by the pandemic, and impersonating a government agency in order to steal more.

“We are trying to ascertain if the scammer is in New Zealand, as they appear to have had some local knowledge, and also if anyone else has been defrauded by them,” Mr Mason said.

He said there are ways that people can protect themselves from scams such as these.

“Be sure to only transfer money through businesses on New Zealand’s Financial Service Providers Register. Don’t fall for the scammers’ line that you must pay more money to release your original funds. And know that the FMA would never freeze money remittance or ask you to pay any money.”

Mr Mason asked anyone with information about the case, or any suspicious money transfer providers, to contact the FMA via questions@fma.govt.nz – in Chinese text if preferred.

ENDS

 

Media contact:

Campbell Gibson
Senior Adviser, Media Relations
campbell.gibson@fma.govt.nz
021 945 323 

 

疫情期间针对在新华人的汇款诈骗

金融市场管理局(FMA)提醒大家要警惕骗子试图假冒FMA进行汇款欺诈。

8月5日,FMA接到一名女士的举报,该女士称她和她的家人由于新冠肺炎疫情被“困在新西兰”, 因此打算从中国汇一笔较大数额的资金到新西兰作为生活费。

该女士在一家社区新闻媒体上看到了一则提供汇款服务的广告,并通过微信安排了转账。她把钱转到了该骗子在内蒙古的一个银行账户里。

但是,她并没有收到该汇款, 而且她被告知该款项因有洗钱嫌疑,已被FMA“冻结”。其后一名冒充FMA工作人员的男士给她打了电话,声称她必须支付更多的钱才能将该款项解冻。于是很不幸, 她又给该诈骗者支付了更多的钱。

FMA监管总监利亚姆·梅森(Liam Mason)表示,这是一个非常令人忧虑的案件,诈骗者将目标锁定到那些受到新冠肺炎影响的人,并冒充政府机构以便诈取更多。

梅森先生说:“我们正在努力确定该骗子是否在新西兰,因为他们似乎有一些当地的常识。我们也想了解是否还有其他人被骗。”

他说,人们可以通过多种方式保护自己免受此类骗局的伤害。

“请确保仅通过新西兰金融服务提供商登记册上的企业汇款。别相信骗子所说的“您必须付更多的钱才能拿到您最初的汇款”。FMA绝不会冻结汇款或要求您支付任何款项。”

梅森先生要求任何了解此案或发现任何可疑汇款服务提供者的人,通过questions@fma.govt.nz与FMA联系 - 中文亦可。