Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, May 27, 2024

Scammers steal HK$127 million from mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong this year

Scammers steal HK$127 million from mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong this year

Amount represents 154 per cent jump compared with last year’s total for the same period and includes 288 victims.

A total of 288 mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong have been scammed out of HK$127 million (US$16.3 million) so far this year after falling victim to fraudsters posing as officials from across the border in deceptive phone calls.

Police on Thursday revealed the amount was 154 per cent more than had been swindled from students in the first 11 months of last year. Chief Inspector Yeung Yung of the force’s New Territories South regional crime prevention unit said 136 mainland residents studying in Hong Kong were conned out of HK$50 million in the same period in 2021.

She said the victims, mostly university students, each handed over amounts ranging from HK$10,000 to HK$6.8 million.

She warned that fraudsters usually accused the victims of breaking mainland laws and might also present them with fake arrest warrants that included their photo and personal information.

Swindlers would then lure the victims into transferring money into designated accounts or surrendering the details and passwords of their own bank accounts, she said.

Officers last week saved a mainland university student – a 20-year-old woman – before her mother in northern China could sell her house to finance a HK$5 million ransom for her daughter’s release in a fake kidnapping case.

The ruse came to light when her mother asked a friend in Hong Kong to make a report to police at about 4pm last Thursday.

Explaining the scam, police said the woman received a call from a man in October who claimed he was a health department official and accused her of violating a coronavirus-related isolation order.

The call was transferred to another man posing as a Guangzhou police officer who then accused the victim of being involved in a money laundering case on the mainland.

The incidents generally involve scammers posing as mainland officials on phone calls.

“She was ordered to cooperate and help investigate, otherwise enforcement action would be taken against her and her family members,” Chief Inspector Chau Man-hin of the New Territories South regional crime unit said.

Over the past two months, the bogus official had kept in contact with the woman, but no money was demanded from her.

Last week, however, she was told a “policeman” would come to Hong Kong to investigate her case. She was asked to rent a subdivided flat in Yau Ma Tei last Thursday and stay there until he turned up the following day.

The victim was instructed to surrender the details of her WeChat account and password.

“She was ordered not to answer any calls or contact her family, or anyone else, when she stayed in the flat,” a police source said.

The victim followed the instructions and moved into the flat at lunchtime last Thursday.

“In the flat, she was instructed to take a photo and a short video of herself and send it to the scammer. In the video, she was asked to say she was safe,” the source said.

About three hours later, her mother on the mainland received a message from the victim’s WeChat account, along with the photo and video, and was told to pay HK$5 million to secure her release.

Police began an investigation at about 4pm on the same day after receiving a report from the mother’s friend in Hong Kong.

After checking a large amount of security camera footage, officers identified a 17-storey building in Yau Ma Tei that the victim had entered on Thursday.

The source said about 50 officers carried out door-to-door inquiries in the building in the early hours of last Friday.

At about 9am, police found the victim in one of the flats when she answered the door. She was safe and unhurt.

The source said officers checked the flat several hours earlier, but no one answered the door. “She did not answer the door because she was so scared,” the source said.

Detectives from the New Territories South regional crime unit are investigating the case. So far, no arrests have been made.

Separately, police have arrested 98 people in connection with 74 deception cases involving financial losses of HK$38 million.
Some victims were duped into handing over bank account details.

Officers arrested the 61 men and 37 women in a series of raids across the city between December 12 and 20. The cases involved bogus online investments, e-shopping frauds, internet love scams and fake employment advertisements.

Superintendent Chen Chi-cheong, head of the New Territories South regional crime unit, said all the suspects were holders of bank accounts that were used to collect and launder the proceeds generated from the 74 cases.

He said the investigation indicated the suspects were paid to either set up the bank accounts or surrender their own.

The suspects were detained on suspicion of obtaining property by deception, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, he said.

The investigation was still under way and further arrests were possible, police said.

Between January and October this year, police handled 22,309 reports of deception, up 42.7 per cent from 15,636 cases logged in the same period in 2021.


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.