Taipei-The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday warned the public to remain vigilant over an online fraud scheme concerning travel subsidies for visits to Tottori Prefecture in Japan.
Many Taiwanese citizens recently received an e-mail from the "Tottori Prefecture Tourism Bureau chief," which claimed that individuals who pay a handling fee will receive travel subsidies for visits to the Prefecture, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (???), said at a press conference Tuesday.
The fraud started after Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of China Airlines, announced July 8 plans to launch a new route between Taichung and Tottori, Japan, that will begin service on Sept. 4.
The spokesperson did not disclose if any Taiwanese have fallen victim to the fraud, but said representatives of Tottori Prefecture in Taiwan reported the attempted fraud to police.
MOFA urged members of the public to be vigilant when receiving such emails and never provide personal information to people they do not know or whose identities are unclear.
Later in the press conference, MOFA urged authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing to stop blaming "non-existent" external forces for the deteriorating situation in the territory and called on them to hold talks with the Hong Kong people.
Taiwan's government supports the desire of Hong Kong people to pursue democracy and freedom and is concerned about the situation there, Ou said.
However, she also stressed that the government's position remains unchanged -- Taiwan will not intervene in the affairs of Hong Kong.
Since June, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers have protested against what they see as an erosion of the autonomy promised under the "one country, two systems" model.
The protests were sparked by a bill that would have allowed the extradition of fugitives and crime suspects to China. While the bill has since been shelved, the demonstrations have morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms in Hong Kong.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel