phone extortionists targeting asian business owners

CNN reports on an extortion scheme targeting Asian American business owners over the phone... They've apparently been threatened with death and violence if they don't send money to extortionists phoning from China: Asian-American merchants being targeted by extortionists.

The calls have been made from Skype, which lets users make free calls using computers. The transfers are hard to trace, because the extortionists are likely using fake identification cards to set up accounts with money wire services.

According to authorities, the callers are demanding $20,000 to $30,000 to get a brother out of jail in China. The business owners are threatened with death, harm to their children or bombing of their business.

Victims have reportedly been targeted in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Jersey, New York and Canada. While the extortionists have received as much as $100,000 from across the United States, thankfully, no one has been physically harmed.

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