A scam in any language is still a scam, and people across the Shore have been getting unusual calls lately, with voicemail inboxes filling up with messages in Chinese.

Scams targeting cell phones are nothing new, but this scam that started showing up in New York about a year ago has made it to Ocean County in recent weeks.

Yesterday, it went through the WOBM office, with dozens of people here (myself included) getting the same message spoken in Chinese in their voicemails.

I put my phone on speaker and opened up Google Translate, here's what it came up with:

Google Translate
Google Translate

Obviously, this is a straight translate so it's not perfect, but you can see  that the call is purporting to be from the Chinese Consulate but, in the words of the Federal Trade Commission,

it’s not a Chinese Consulate office calling. It’s a scammer.

Of course, none of this will mean anything to people who get this phone call but don't speak Chinese, but as with all scams, it only takes a few people to fall for it for the scammers to be successful.

Need an example?

According to an NPR report from last year, one New York City resident said that she was scammed out of $1.3 million from this particular endeavor.

So, what can you do about it? The FTC says,

If you get a call or message like this, hang up or delete it, and then tell the FTC.

You can read much more about this particular scam by clicking here for the FTC warning, and you can click here for the NPR report.



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