Toronto police are sounding the alarm over what they say are a set of fraud and extortion scams targeting the city's Mandarin speakers.
The suspects are contacting victims in the Greater Toronto Area by phone and instant messaging and allegedly posing as Chinese authorities and law enforcement officials, according to a Toronto Police Service news release.
The Toronto Strategic Partnership, a multi-agency law-enforcement group that was founded to combat cross-border fraudulent schemes, is working with Toronto police.
They say the suspects accuse the victims of money laundering and threaten to arrest or seize their assets.
"The victims protest their innocence and the unknown individuals demand to 'examine' the victim's funds for money laundering indicators," the news release read.
The victims send money as both cash and wire transfers to the scammers, police said, believing the "examinations" of the funds will prove their innocence. The suspects never return the money.
"The police will never ask witnesses and/or suspects to send money transfers for examination," investigators said.
Anyone who receives this type of call is asked to call police at 416-808-7300 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.