Toronto police say they are warning the public of a “fraudulent scheme” that is targeting Canadian residents who speak Mandarin.

According to investigators, unknown individuals are allegedly posing as Chinese authorities and law enforcement officials as they contact victims within the Toronto area.

Communication between the unknown individuals and the victims is typically conducted over the phone and instant messaging, police said.

During these interactions, the victims are being threatened with arrest for money laundering. The unknown individuals are also allegedly threatening to seize the victims’ assets.

It is further alleged that the unknown individuals are demanding to examine the victims’ funds for “money laundering indicators,” police said.

While trying to prove their innocence, victims have sent money via cash and wire transfer to the unknown individuals. However, their funds have never been returned.

In a news release issued on Tuesday, Toronto police said they are warning residents to be “wary of this fraudulent scheme.”

“The police will never ask witnesses and/or suspects to send money transfers for examinations,” the news release said. “We are requesting anyone who receives this type of call or solicitation to contact police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call officers at 416-808-7300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).