Con artists strike again

Local | Jane Lam 27 Jul 2017

Con artists appear to have changed tactics after the police set up an advisory hotline in an attempt to curb scams.

The latest victims are a father and daughter, surnamed Chu, who were cheated out of HK$17,000 by a so-called "immigration officer."

The 18-year-old daughter, a year one student at a Taiwanese university who is spending her summer break back in Hong Kong, reported to Tseung Kwan O police at 8pm Tuesday that she had received a call from an "immigration officer" who later forwarded the call to a self-proclaimed law enforcement officer.

The officer told her she was suspected of involvement in a criminal case and asked her to provide information about her father, including his telephone number and to deposit HK$6,100 into a mainland bank account. She was then asked to switch off her phone.

The scammer then called her father, saying he had kidnapped the daughter and demanded a ransom of 10,000 yuan to set her free.

After paying the ransom, the father realized his daughter was safe and had not been kidnapped.

Scammers used the same tactic on a 22-year-old woman, surnamed Law, a third year university student who also studies in Taiwan.

She received a call on Tuesday from a stranger who claimed to be a legal officer who then transferred the call to an officer from the mainland.

Law deposited HK$13,000 into two mainland bank accounts using three transactions. The case was reported to the police at 9pm.

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