Phone scams getting bolder in HCMC

There were a large number of scamming calls yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City aiming at appropriating money from parents of students.

The hotline of SGGP Newspaper yesterday afternoon received several reports about phone scams asking students’ parents to transfer money for medical emergency cases of their children.

L.P. from District 3 recalled that yesterday morning, she answered a call from the number of 076… 901, saying that her child learning at an international primary school had tripped and been transferred to a hospital for an emergency surgery. The caller then asked her to send a large amount of money to pay for medical fees. Luckily, L.P. had previously read the news on SGGP Newspaper and was aware of such tricks, so she announced the intention to contact the official number of the school to verify the information. The caller immediately hung up; however, L.P. was concerned how those scammers could know personal information of her and her child.

Unluckily falling into the same trick were two parents of students in Canada International School (sited in District 7) and Asian International School (District 10). Each parent was asked to transfer VND200 million (US$8,450) divided equally into two accounts of Nguyen Duy Thai and Thach Vu Ha. Another case was L.V.T., parent of a student in Luong Dinh Cua Junior High School. She was instructed to send VND20 million ($845) to the account of Dang Thuy Trang for surgery fee for her child supposedly in Cho Ray Hospital.

Also experiencing the trick was N.D.N., parent of a student in Canada International School. Nevertheless, he did not answer the request but came directly to the mentioned hospital to check information.

Cho Ray Hospital yesterday informed that it received many cases of parents being tricked into having their children hospitalized, with a demand to transfer money for emergency surgery. The hospital said that it had already reported this matter in advance, yet many people still fell into this trick.

Another scam reported to SGGP Newspaper came from the number 090… 003, saying that he had answered a call announcing the receiver is facing a lawsuit case of unsuccessful bank loan payback. The caller asked the receiver to send VND40 million ($1,690) to be released from custody during investigation. When hearing a refusal from the receiver, those scammers shouted some curses and hung up.

Aware about the seriousness of the newest phone scam, many schools in HCMC have sent warning messages to parents of their students, asking these parents to calmly verify the information via the official hotline of the school or the personal mobile number of the head teacher, the school supervisors first. The parent associations of all schools in HCMC also sent similar warnings via social network channels to members to minimize cases of being tricked.

When receiving such scam calls, people should immediately report to the local police for professional support. Also, parents are advised to save the emergency numbers of their children’s school, head teacher, and grade supervisor.

At present, the HCMC Department of Education and Training is cooperating with the municipal Public Security Department to address the issue.

Meanwhile, the former has sent a formal dispatch to its divisions in all 21 districts and Thu Duc City, requesting all schools and vocation schools in HCMC to review the contact method between parents and the school to ensure information security and update necessary hotlines for smooth communication. Besides posting the official hotline on their formal websites, schools are asked to propagandize information verification methods to all students, parents, and teachers.

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