More pain for PayMe users

Top News | Staff Reporter 21 Sep 2018

Complaints of PayMe users being cheated out of their money have been lodged with police, with the problem also affecting those who do not even use the HSBC peer-to-peer payment service.

Three cases involved PayMe users who said they were swindled out of HK$14,000 after receiving messages that money transfers had been made into a PayMe account from their credit cards.

There is also a complaint from a man, surnamed Chan, who said his wife has an HSBC bank card but does not have a PayMe account. Despite this, she still received a message that said she transferred HK$5,000 to a PayMe account.

According to Chan, he and his wife never used any e-payment platform but received several messages saying that there were transactions from her credit card to WeChat Pay and PayMe accounts.

The first transaction was HK$1 to a PayMe account, while the second transaction was HK$5,000. There was also a transaction involving 10 HK cents through WeChat Pay.

The couple alerted HSBC about the transactions and were told that an investigation would be launched.

Chan criticized PayMe's application procedure for being too simple, making it easy to steal users' information.

An HSBC spokeswoman said the bank will introduce security enhancements as part of the process for PayMe users to link their credit card with their PayMe account.

Francis Fong Po-kiu, the honorary president of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, said the cases involve theft of credit card information.

He added that banks and e-payment platforms both have the responsibility of enhancing security.

The security of PayMe, which has a million users, is being scrutinized as this is the fourth incident in two days involving the service.

Police earlier received three reports about alleged fraud regarding PayMe.

Two men, aged 66 and 28, filed a report at Sha Tin Police Station saying they received messages about several unauthorized transactions from their credit cards to a stored value facility. Neither of them had registered or used the platform, but they lost HK$7,000 and HK$2,000 respectively.

The third victim, a 53-year-old man, said he received messages about numerous transactions to a stored value platform from his credit card.

He immediately alerted his bank that his card information had been stolen. Upon contacting PayMe's customer service center, he learned that HK$5,000 had been taken from his account. All three cases have been listed as obtaining property by deception.

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