The Monterey Park Police Department has recently investigated cases of theft by false pretense. This fraud has occurred when the victim received a telephone call from a male or female suspect posing as an employee of the Chinese Consulate General and/or the Beijing Police Department.
The suspects have told the victim that they were under investigation for passport fraud or money laundering and have requested the victim to return to China for interviews and to assist with the investigation. In each case the victim requested additional information or questioned the reason for their return to China. The suspect then requested that in lieu of returning to China the victim wire transfer a predetermined amount of money to a designated account in order to resolve the matter. On one occasion, the unsuspecting victim completed the wire transfer of funds and later discovered that they had been defrauded.
The Monterey Park Police Department Investigations Bureau is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to identify and apprehend the perpetuators. We would like to remind all persons that government officials in the United States or overseas do not and cannot contact persons telephonically or via email and demand money in order to resolve issues overseas. The United States Government and Consulate Generals do not ask for money in order to resolve passport issues or criminal investigations. If there is an issue with a passport or there is an ongoing criminal matter, you are asked to visit your local consulate or local police department to resolve the matter. If you are required to pay a fine or other penalty due to an adverse action, this arrangement is done so through the local Consulate General, U.S. Attorney’s Office, local District Attorney’s office, or local government office such as the police or city clerk’s office. You will always receive documentation regarding the incident and be given a receipt for any payment you make.
If you suspect you may be a victim of this type of fraud and reside and/or own a business in the City of Monterey Park, please contact the Monterey Park Police Department at 626-573-1311. If you reside or own a business outside of the City of Monterey Park and suspect you have been a victim of this scheme please contact your local police department to report the crime.
Lieutenant Bill Cuevas, Monterey Park Police Department