Swindlers are using Macau’s 10-pataca banknotes and passing them off as HK$100 bills, Hong Kong retailers have been warned.
“Everybody, please pay attention. Some bad guys are fishing in troubled waters and using the Macau 10-pataca note as if it were a HK$100 note. [One swindler] put the Macau 10-pataca note in between two HK$100 notes” to avoid detection, according to a warning posted on the door of a retail store. Netizens have widely circulated the warning online.
Although the 10-pataca note issued by the Bank of China in Macau in 2008 is a bit smaller, it has the same red color and can easily be mistaken for a HK$100 bill when mixed with such notes, Headline Daily reported on Wednesday.
Several eateries and photocopy shops on Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok were victimized by the scheme last year.
Simon Wong, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades, said he had not heard of the incident, although he warned restaurant owners to be more careful after it was reported late last year that some people used fake HK$1,000 notes.
Taxi operators also said they had not heard of the scam involving 10-pataca banknotes, but advised cabbies to be vigilant when receiving money from passengers.
People found to be engaged in such scams in Hong Kong can be charged with “obtaining property by deception” under the Theft Ordinance and the maximum penalty for the offense is 10 years in jail, the report said, citing lawyer Luk Wai-hung.
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