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That’s Not The Chinese Consulate Calling You: Phone Scam Hits Houston

Imposter calls remain high on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of phone scams

Many in Houston are receiving calls where someone speaking in a Chinese language says you need to send them money. The callers give a variety of reasons — from a fine you have to pay to picking up a package at the local consulate.

However, the Chinese consulate says it never ask for money over the phone. The Houston Chinese consulate issued a warning on their website.

“Scammers like to use these things that we know, things that are in the news, or things that we know have authority, because they lend some credibility and they sound just enough to make us go ‘oh, well maybe that’s right and I certainly don’t want to be in trouble I better take care of this,’” said Pati Poss of the Federal Trade Commission. 

The scam hit new New York City mid-April. A New York Police Officer told WNYC victims in the city lost somewhere near $3 million dollars to the scam since last December.

Houston officials say they don’t have numbers on losses in Texas.

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Davis Land

Davis Land

General Assignments Reporter

Davis Land is a general assignment reporter for Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media/Transom.org in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a...

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