Kiwis are being targeted by numerous calls as part of a phone scam that has already reaped millions of dollars in Australia.

Since publishing an article, stating New Zealanders and Australians have become a target of the scam, the Herald was contacted by numerous people confirming the scam.

One reader who spoke Mandarin said they received a recorded message two days ago claiming to be from the Chinese Embassy.

It said he had a parcel at the embassy and it would be returned to sender if it was unclaimed.


"Then it transferred to a Chinese male who asked my name and passport number.

"I was outside then so can't remember my passport no so told him I'll call him back when I've found my passport."

He gave him a number which he called but couldn't get anyone to answer.

He said he was lucky he had read about the scam as he almost fell for it.

Penny Cox said she had been receiving calls from a person speaking Chinese every day for the past two weeks.

"They came from different NZ numbers each time.

"I even got a couple on my work phone as well. Each time I hung up quick and blocked the number."

Timo Dicker said he had received two calls from a Mandarin speaking voice but hung up as there was "no point" in listening to it.


Saul Parks said he had received two calls from a recording of a person speaking Mandarin.

He said he traced the call to an Auckland hair salon which he called and they had no knowledge of the scam.

Another reader said they had received a call and noted "there is urgency in the voice speaking".

"I hang up and block the number but they keep calling.

"Sometimes they call me on my landline at work, sometimes on my work mobile but lately it's my personal mobile."

Last year, NZ police issued a warning to the public after reports of a scam using the Chinese Embassy phone number.


In the past few months, the scam has resurfaced, with many New Zealanders receiving phone calls and voice messages in Mandarin from people they don't know.

The calls - and voicemails that have been left on people's phones - are in relation to a variety of topics, such as having property to pick up from the embassy, that their credit card has been used without authority or that they need to call a phone number in Beijing.

"Government agencies will never call you to ask for your bank account or credit card details by phone," police said.

In New South Wales, Australia, at least 50 people have reported they were scammed.

The scammer usually demands money and threatens harm to the victim, as well as their friends and family, if the demands are not met.

The call usually starts with a recorded message in English or Mandarin, and then transfers to a person claiming to be from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate.


NSW Police has issued a public warning about the calls.

"I want to stress that the Chinese Embassy would never contact a victim to pay money over the phone," Financial Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett said.

As well as New Zealand, the same scam has also been reported in the US, Canada and the UK.