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Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Bulletin: Asian Extortion Scam

A sealed cardboard box with a shipping label.

Asian communities in Canada are being targeted with automated calls claiming to contain an urgent message from a courier company (e.g. DHL) or foreign law enforcement (e.g. Beijing Police, Shanghai Customs). The message claims that a letter or package in your name was intercepted, and implicates you in a larger fraud scheme. For example, the message may state, “a suspicious package containing undeclared passports (or numerous bank cards) has been stopped at customs and you are the subject of an investigation”. In some cases, the fraudsters will also say that you have received fraudulent funds in your account. They will ask for the call to be kept confidential and request that payment be made for a money laundering investigation. These calls can be very intimidating and threatening. Please hang up and report the incident to your nearest police department or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

  • Beware of calls from unfamiliar Chinese speakers.
  • Most callers will request that money be sent to bank accounts in China or Hong Kong. Police and government officials will never ask you to transfer money to foreign accounts.
  • If you receive an urgent call from someone claiming to represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up. Never provide personal information on unexpected calls. This includes account numbers, social insurance number (SIN), mother's maiden name, passport information, passwords or any information about your identity.
  • Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at