Asia Lite | Phone scam ‘victim’ tricks retiree, 81, out of nearly HK$4 million
A woman, who was living on Kimberley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, was cheated HK$4 million in a phone scam. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Google Map
A woman, who was living on Kimberley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, was cheated HK$4 million in a phone scam. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Google Map

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

April 11, 2017 5:35 PM (UTC+8)

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.

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