Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Jun 16, 2024

Hong Kong police arrest 4 in crackdown on SIM card scheme that helps scammers

Hong Kong police arrest 4 in crackdown on SIM card scheme that helps scammers

Three jobless men aged 24 to 28 and 35-year-old woman arrested during raids.

Hong Kong police have arrested four people on suspicion of using fake identity documents to register more than 7,300 SIM cards to help scammers open social media accounts, marking the first crackdown since a real-name registration rule launched last year.

The group comprising three local jobless men aged 24 to 28 and a 35-year-old Indonesian woman were arrested during a police raid on industrial and residential buildings in Cheung Sha Wan and Sau Mau Ping, the force on Sunday said.

Superintendent Wilson Tam Wai-shun, of police’s cybersecurity and technology crime bureau, said the three men were believed to have started acquiring a large number of mobile phone SIM cards from March last year.

A poster reminding residents about real-name registration for SIM cards.

Since last February, all SIM cards in the city were required to be registered using a Hong Kong ID card. The initiative was proposed to combat criminals using anonymous pay-as-you-go SIM cards to evade detection.

Using computers and modem-pool devices to connect online intermediaries, the group were able to obtain one-time passwords for scammers to create accounts on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, he said.

The modem-pool devices can house multiple SIM cards and send out calls in bulk, making the gadgets popular among phone scammers.

Police said the group had allegedly registered more than 7,300 of SIM cards using fake Hong Kong ID cards.

According to a force insider, one of three men had used his own ID card to create copies with different numbers for registration purposes, successfully passing the authentication process.

The 35-year-old woman, a domestic helper, had opened a social media account with a promise of financial reward, the source added.

Police said they believed the registered cards could allow scammers to send phishing messages for fraudulent activities such as investment, romance and online shopping scams.

Superintendent Tam said the trio earned HK$10 to HK$20 per SIM card from scammers using their services.

“An investigation showed the ring was connected to at least three online shopping scams in Yuen Long, Chai Wan and Cheung Sha Wan involving a total loss of about HK$16,396,” chief inspector Benjamin Tai Tze-bun of the bureau said.

The three men, who included two core group members, were arrested for using false instruments, while the woman was arrested for obtaining property by deception. The group were being held for inquiries.

Police also seized 65,000 SIM cards, 95 sets of modem-pools, 29 computers and a router during Saturday’s raids.

Further arrests were possible, police said.

The real-name registration for mobile SIM cards was proposed to combat offences as criminals made use of anonymous pay-as-you-go cards to evade detection.

The real-name registration requirement was initially proposed by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau in January 2021. The Telecommunications (Registration of SIM Cards) Regulation taking effect in September of the same year, with a cut-off period ending in March 2022.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.