Hong Kong – A boy has been scammed into selling all his mother’s jewellery and depositing the money into the account of an alleged “Chinese official.”
According to a report by South China Morning Post, the 15-year-old boy received a call from a man who claimed to be a law enforcement agent from mainland China. The scammer apparently accused the boy of a criminal act and instructed the teenager to sell his mother’s jewellery, and afterwards transfer the money to a bank account in China.
Perhaps out of fear and panic, the boy did as he was told. He took the necklaces, rings, and bracelets from his mother’s safe and sold them for a total of HK$250,000 (S$43,338).
The 49-year-old mother, upon returning home, discovered the safe had been emptied and reported what she had thought was a burglary to the Hong Kong police.
Upon initial investigation, the police concluded it was a case of deception. No one has been arrested, and investigations are ongoing.
There has been a spike in the number of phone scam cases in Hong Kong. Most cons involved scammers impersonating mainland Chinese government officials or law enforcers. Some even used pre-recorded calls from telecoms or courier companies.
The con artists often accused victims of violating laws of mainland China, and that the only way their case would be “properly investigated” would be for them to deposit a certain amount of money in a Chinese bank account.
Singaporeans have also fallen victim to similar scammers, with an increase in crimes in 2018 being due to a spike in online and phone scams involving e-commerce, fake loans or lottery winnings. Local police report that, in 2018 alone, the city-state recorded 302 cases of scams involving impersonators of mainland Chinese officials./TISG