FBI warns of scam targeting Chinese students in the US , pretending to be Chinese police officers

The FBI issues a public warning about a scam targeting the US-based Chinese community, particularly Chinese students at US universities. Criminals posing as Chinese police officers use a multiphase scheme, alleging victims' involvement in financial crimes in China.

Officials advise you to protect yourselves by not releasing personal or financial information and ceasing contact if accused of a crime. Authorities say they are using your phone numbers to show proof of legitimacy, but this is not substantial.

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There are four phases of the scam, and in the first phase, criminals mask their numbers by posing as different entities. Victims are informed they are connected to an ongoing financial fraud investigation.

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Moving to the second phase, fake Chinese police officers escalate scare tactics, providing details of alleged crimes and presenting fraudulent documentation. Threats of arrest or pressure to return to China are used to coerce victims.

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In the third phase, victims are directed to consent to 24/7 monitoring to prove their innocence. They are instructed to avoid discussing the case, internet searches, and report daily activities.

The final phase involves extortion, instructing victims to wire money to a Chinese account. Some victims are coerced into lying for additional funds or facilitating other criminal schemes.


  • If an unknown individual contacts you to accuse you of a crime, do not release any personal identifiable or financial information and do not send any money. Cease any further contact with the individual.
  • Contact from a seemingly official phone number is not proof of official action. Criminal actors may use technology to disguise or "spoof" the actual number they are calling from to appear as a trusted number.
  • If you are contacted by any government agency for an allegedly official purpose, you may verify the contact is official by (1) using public sources (phone book, internet, etc.) to identify the government agency's contact information then (2) directly contacting the agency to confirm the legitimacy of the interaction.
  • Do not consent to 24/7 video or audio monitoring.
  • If you believe you have been contacted by an individual claiming to be a Chinese authority, contact your local FBI field office. Foreign government officials conducting legitimate law enforcement activity in the United States must act in coordination with US federal authorities.


  • The FBI requests victims report these fraudulent or suspicious activities to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov as quickly as possible.
  • Report the activity to the payment service provider used for the financial transaction.
  • Contact your financial institution immediately to stop or reverse the transaction. Ask the financial institution to contact the corresponding financial institution where the funds were sent.
  • Report activity to your campus security or public safety office to elevate awareness within the student population.