According to Criminal Investigation Bureau statistics, victims in Taiwan lost over NT$3 billion to scammers in over 10,000 cases in the first half of this year. Total losses are expected to surpass NT$6 billion for the year.
Police Officer: “You want to invest? Believe us. You can trust us.”
Bank personnel called the police to stop this woman from transferring almost NT$450,000 to an unknown party for an "investment."
Chen Hsin, Deputy Chief, Gangqian Police Station: “After an officer explained to Ms. Peng that she was being scammed, Ms. Peng finally understood that she was being scammed. ”
A 70-something Taipei woman joined a "free investment" group on a social media app and became acquainted with a self-proclaimed "investment consultant," who urged her to invest in cryptocurrency. When the woman went to the bank to transfer money, a bank employee called in the police to stop her. According to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, domestic scams have spiraled out of control in the last five years. In the first half of this year alone, victims in Taiwan lost over NT$3 billion to scams. For the year, the figure is expected to surpass NT$6 billion. Experts say it is next to impossible for victims to get their money back.
Shih Chih-hung, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Criminal Investigation, Central Police University: “There are innumerable ways to launder money, including cryptocurrency and NFTs, gambling websites, third-party payment services, and underground currency exchange. Money can be laundered in the blink of an eye, and many of the transactions are untraceable.”
Experts say unlike ATM scams of the past, avenues like cryptocurrency and NFTs provide a way to launder money due to their unregulated and decentralized nature. Money laundered through underground currency exchange is equally difficult to trace, much less recover.