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The Saanich Police issued a warning on Monday about recent frauds that appear to be targeting the local Chinese community.

In some instances, the fraudsters have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims.

Police say that callers receive pre-recorded messages in Mandarin and Cantonese telling them to take urgent action on their accounts, sometimes claiming the accounts have been used to commit a crime.

Fraudsters assume the identity of agents, corporate officials and even police officials.

Saanich Police say that law enforcement bodies will not call people with pre-recorded messages. Individuals who receive a call like this should simply hang up.

Sometimes messages will say that the caller will be transferred to police. In this situation, Saanich Police say callers should hang up and call police themselves, and if possible, to do so from a different phone number.

Fraudsters have also been able to use computers to spoor phone numbers and caller ID’s. If in doubt, potential victims should hang up immediately.

The Saanich Police also recommend that people avoid downloading unknown mobile applications or opening links from messages or emails where the sender cannot be verified.

Lastly, they urge people to not disclose personal banking information to anyone they are not familiar with.

In order to communicate more effectively with the Chinese community, Saanich Police translated their release on the frauds into simplified and traditional Chinese characters.

Those versions can be read on the Saanich PD website.

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