New York's attorney general is warning Chinese-American residents about a telephone scam that has tricked 21 people out of .5 million since last December.
The callers have been impersonating the Chinese Consulate and demanding payment in exchange for a package or to prevent punishment from the consulate office. To resolve the matter, the scammers asked consumers for their bank or credit card information or demanded that they make a bank transfer to the consulate.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the scammers appear to be calling from outside the U.S. and targeting people with Chinese last names, including recent immigrants.
"It's unconscionable that someone would prey on New Yorkers - including vulnerable recent immigrants - to try to turn a profit," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
He said that New Yorkers who receive such calls should immediately contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.