$180m con victim revealed as massive charity donor

Local | Cindy Wan 13 Sep 2018

The businesswoman who lost HK$180 million in a love scam was a philanthropist who established a charity fund to build schools, help poor families and promote traditional Chinese culture.

The 66-year-old took to a website in April 2014 to find men aged between 50 and 65, Eastweek reported.

"Currently a widow, I run my own business, but still have some spare time and am looking for a companion who has a positive attitude to life, is a non-smoker, warm, confident, open-minded and loves to travel," she wrote on her profile.

The scammer, who went by the screen name "Raymond Chan," claimed to be an engineer and approached her online.

He spun her a story of loneliness and needing a family to love as all his children had moved away.

He also showed the woman fake documents and receipts to mislead her into believing that he ran a big business.

But after a month of texting, the scammer started borrowing money from her as he claimed his business had run into problems.

It was revealed that the scammer returned part of the money in order to earn her trust. He abused it and ended up borrowing money from her on 269 occasions, but could no longer be reached in July.

The victim was from a wealthy family. After her father passed away, she and her siblings inherited HK$140 million.

She is known to own three companies and earned at least HK$270 million from property investments.

A source said that while losing the money will not affect the woman's quality of life, she was devastated about being duped.

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