Chinese embassy, consulates issue alert as overseas students in UK cheated out of nearly 100 million yuan

2023-10-17 09:29:29Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

There are more than 200,000 Chinese students studying in the UK, and the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester told the media outlets on Sunday that it had received reports of a number of Chinese students being subjected to telecom fraud involving nearly 100 million yuan ($13.7 million) between January and September in 2023.

In recent years, telecom fraud cases have occurred frequently in the UK, and a large number of Chinese students in the UK have become the target of fraudsters.

On October 2, the website of the Chinese Embassy in the UK released news that the Chinese embassies and consulates in the UK have received a number of requests for help, and there has been a significant increase in telecom fraud cases, of which virtual kidnapping and impersonating the domestic public security department's anti-fraud dedicated line is particularly frequent. 

At present, there are various forms of fraud, including but not limited to impersonating public security law enforcement, customs, embassy and consular staff, courier companies, landlords and so on. The fraud involves virtual kidnapping, illegal currency exchange, online transactions, etc.

According to the statistics of the UK Finance, in 2022, over £1.2 billion ($1.46 billion) were stolen by criminals through authorized and unauthorized fraud, equivalent to over £2,300 every minute. It said there were 3.7 million fraud cases in England and Wales alone in 2022, accounting for more than 40 percent of all crime.

The Chinese Consulate General in Manchester also said that from January to September, nearly 100 students were discouraged from the fraud by the consulate, and more than 20 people were rescued by police, and the economic losses recovered were equal to nearly 100 million yuan. 

Anti-fraud experts in the UK said that 80 percent of fraud in the UK is carried out online, often starting with social media posts, scam emails or fake advertising, so working with the tech industry is particularly important to tackling the problem.

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