Scam organizations are always a few steps ahead. Police stopped a woman from wiring NT$290,000 into a domestic account to help a "U.S. military doctor" who claimed he was being attacked by Ukrainian forces in Israel.
A 74-year-old Taoyuan woman surnamed Lin approved a Facebook friend request earlier this month. The other person claimed to be a U.S. military doctor stationed in Israel. According to the "doctor," he was worried for his own life due to daily attacks from Ukrainian people and needed money to leave the military.
Ms. Lin: “He said he was a military doctor in Israel and they had to deal with Ukrainian people coming to kill their soldiers every day. He said people were being killed almost every day, and asked me to help him.”
Wu Tsung-ying, Deputy Chief, Wuling Police Station: “Scam organizations were using international conflict to get the sympathy of the victim. They asked her to go to the bank to wire them money. The bank immediately notified the police, which sent officers over to learn more.”
The woman felt so sorry for her new Facebook friend that she went to the bank to wire him NT$290,000 to help him get home. Lin did not believe the police when they informed her that Ukraine is the one being invaded, not Israel. They also pointed out the account she was wiring money to was a domestic account.
Police Officer: “We've received reports from other victims that wired them money. Believe us, you're being scammed.”
Lin refused to listen to the police and insisted on completing the transaction, saying she couldn't disappoint her new friend. The police looked up the recipient's account and found it was already flagged. This means all funds transferred into the account are immediately frozen. It was only when they told Lin this part that she believed she was being scammed and went home.