Police warning after student in Northern Ireland scammed out of £200,000
Police have issued a warning after a student from China studying in Northern Ireland was scammed out of £200,000.
Two men posing as 'Beijing Police' officers told the woman that she was suspected of being involved in money laundering.
During the fake phone call, they threatened her with arrest if she did not pay £200,000.
Police said after transferral of the funds, the woman never heard from the men again.
Studying in Northern Ireland from abroad? Been contacted by someone claiming to be a government official or police officer? Asked for money? If this has happened to you, it’s most likely a scammer who is after your money. Be #ScamAware #ScamwiseNI— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) October 3, 2023
PSNI 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.
They lost a total of £105,000 to fraudsters who claimed they were from the 'Chinese Embassy' and 'Chinese police'.
"Being aware of the signs of scams can help prevent these fraudulent crimes and keep people and their money safe,” he added.
"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."