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Chinese UGA students lose $10,000 to phone scam

By Joe Johnson

Two University of Georgia students from China were recently scammed out of $10,000 by thieves posing as Chinese officials, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The victims, share an apartment at The Mark Athens off-campus student housing complex on Oconee Street.

They reported that last Wednesday they were contacted by someone purporting to be a representative of the DHL shipping company who said that a package for one of the students was being held by customs officials in China, and the call was then transferred to “a police department in China,” at which time one of the students was told that she was involved with identity theft and money laundering, according to the report.

The “police advised her to delete her call logs and requested to video chat with her about the criminal matter,” according to the police report.

Both students then reportedly had a video chat with someone who would not show themselves, and who said that while one of them had a criminal issue to deal with, the other was also involved as a witness, the report stated.

The unseen person in the video chat told the roommates that if one of them did not pay $4,600 and the other didn’t pay $5,300, they would both have issues trying to return home to China, according to the report. The victims also sent copies of their Chinese passports to the “police” contact.

The victims sent the requested funds via Bank of America to Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong.

The phone number for the Chinese police that the victims provided to Athens-Clarke County police was not a working number when Classic City News called it Monday morning.

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