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Phone fraud & scams update

Chinese consulate & other scams

Individuals have recently reported receiving recorded calls purporting to be from the Chinese Consulate stating that the individual has important paperwork at the consulate that needs to be completed, or that there is a fraud investigation or other pretext. The caller’s message is in Chinese. The individual is instructed to call back a number where the fraudster instructs them to wire funds to resolve the issue, or asks the individual for personal information which could be used to commit fraud or ID theft.

Individuals continue to receive calls that are supposedly from the IRS or other law enforcement agency advising them they will be arrested if they do not immediately pay back taxes or some sort of penalty, and the individual is to arrange immediate payment to the caller via Western Union transfer, iTunes or other prepaid card, etc.

If you receive calls of this type, hang up. These are scams.


W-8BEN Scam

A new scam involves criminals who mail or fax a letter to nonresident aliens (or presumed nonresident aliens) stating that the individual needs to validate their information with the IRS by providing a new W-8BEN. The form is NOT a real W-8BEN form, it is a fake. The fake W-8BEN asks for personal details such as passport numbers and PIN codes. A legitimate W-8BEN does not ask for any of that information. The letter or fax sent with the fake W-8BEN also refers to a Form W9095, which does not exist. The criminals use the information provided on the fake W-8BEN to commit fraud and ID theft.

Refer to the FTC website (only available in English and Spanish) for more information on scams.

Cathay Bank

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