Phone scam ‘victim’ tricks retiree, 81, out of nearly HK$4 million
Suspect tells police she was only trying to recoup losses from elderly businesswoman after she had been duped
An unusual Hong Kong phone scam case proves that two wrongs don’t make a right when an 81-year-old retired businesswoman was duped out of HK$3.95 million (US$500,000) by a suspect claiming she was trying to recoup cash she lost the same way.
The 81-year-old retiree, surnamed Wong, lived on her own in a Kimberley Road apartment in Tsim Sha Tsui, and had engaged in trading and property businesses in the mainland in the past, Apple Daily reported.
The Hong Kong businesswoman received a phone call from the scammers on March 30, Apple Daily said. The caller told Wong that she was involved in a money laundering case and was being investigated by Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.
She handed over three cheques worth a total of HK$3.95 million as a guarantee to a 25-year-old woman, who was believed to be one of the scammers, in separate face-to-face meetings, hoping to settle the case.
The retiree assumed that the cheques would not be cashed, but soon realized that it was a scam last Saturday, Sing Tao Daily reported. She called the police after the same scammer called again seeking another HK$520,000 payment on Monday.
A 25-year-old mainland woman, also surnamed Wong, was arrested. The suspect told the police that she had been the victim of a phone scam and was only trying to recoup the HK$30,000 that she was tricked out of by doing the same to others.