A Waterloo Region man fell victim to an overseas telephone fraud on April 30.

The student was called by someone identifying themselves as a member of the Chinese Consulate and redirected to someone who claimed to be from the Beijing police.

He was told that he was under investigation for fraud, and two options were presented: return to China for the investigation, or send money to a Hong Kong ‘escrow account’ until he was cleared.

He became fearful and sent the money.

The student received another call sometime later saying that he was cleared of the investigation, but he was asked for a bail fee to have the money returned.

The victim became suspicious and contacted local authorities.

Police are warning that this type of scam targets international students, and that it’s not an isolated incident.

“It’s become enough of a problem that the Chinese Consulate has put an alert out on their website” said Det. Const. David Lea of the Waterloo Regional Police fraud branch.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre also maintains a list of current ongoing scams.