Man arrested for telephone scam targeting Asians in Toronto


Zhi Yong Wu, a 57-year-old man from Toronto, was arrested and charged in connection with a telephone scam targeting members of the local Asian community.

Key points:

  • Wu allegedly made threatening phone calls posing as various officials, including police officers, customs officials and Interpol agents, demanding money from Asian victims.

  • On Tuesday, Peel Regional Police announced the arrest of Wu on April 17 following an extensive investigation. He was charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime.

  • The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) warns the public to remain vigilant against such scams, urging them to report any suspicious calls from purported government or police agencies.

The details:

  • In one case, a 38-year-old man from Mississauga was allegedly coerced into sending 15 wire transfers to Hong Kong, totaling over $97,000, after being threatened with deportation.

  • According to police, Wu, who claimed to be a Shanghai customs officer, “advised that the victim was suspected of committing a fraud offense in China and was required to return his funds to China for further investigation into their legitimacy.” Wu also promised the return of all his funds after completion of the purported investigation.

  • The victim became suspicious after nine wire transfers. However, Wu allegedly visited his home and presented fake identification as an "Executive Staff Member of Interpol of The People's Republic of China," further extorting additional cash and six more transfers.

  • Jeff Thomson from the CAFC emphasized that extortion fraud continues to pose a significant threat to Canadians, with reported losses totaling $12.5 million in 2023. He explained that the scams manipulate victims' emotions to instill fear and anxiety, ultimately coercing them into sending money.

  • Peel Regional Police offered tips to avoid falling victim to such scams, including researching numbers and not divulging personal information over the phone. They encourage other victims or individuals with information to come forward.


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