Student loses $70K of borrowed money in scam targeting Mandarin speakers

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A university student has lost $70,000 borrowed from friends and family to overseas scammers targeting Mandarin speakers.

Just a semester into a business degree at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Sally Lin’s world was “turned upside-down” after being scammed by a group pretending to be police and prosecutors in China, accusing her of involvement in a “high-profile” international money laundering case.

Over a month of daily communications, she was pressured to make large payments to “co-operate with the investigation”, and prove her innocence, she said.

It started when she received an automated phone call on June 14, claiming a parcel Lin sent had been blocked by customs in China.

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Automated options took her to a person…

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