Date
23 July 2017
A fake warrant (inset) with the victim's photo and personal details appears on a bogus website of the prosecutor's office. A man claiming to be from private courier SF Express tried to scam the victim out of HK$300,000. Photos: Apple Daily, CNSA
A fake warrant (inset) with the victim's photo and personal details appears on a bogus website of the prosecutor's office. A man claiming to be from private courier SF Express tried to scam the victim out of HK$300,000. Photos: Apple Daily, CNSA

This HK man was a few keystrokes from losing big money to a scam

Fed up with error messages on your computer screen?

Fret not. These might save you a fortune.

A Hong Kong man is so thankful an error page flagged a fraudulent cash transfer he has probably made it his screen saver.

The man, identified only as Thomas, was several keystrokes from losing HK$300,000 (US$38,697) to scammers when his computer’s antivirus software kicked in and exposed the fraud, according to Apple Daily.

Thomas had gone to Shenzhen as instructed by the scammers after being told he was on a police wanted list for money laundering.

A man claiming to be from private courier SF Express called to say that 28 China UnionPay cards had been found in a package Thomas had sent from Baoding in Hebei province.

The man transferred the call to a person posing as a Hebei police officer who confirmed the find.

He was directed to a bogus website of the prosecutor’s office which showed his photo and personal details, including his Hong Kong ID number, on a wanted list.

The suspects asked for HK$300,000 to get his problem fixed.

Thomas checked into a hotel in Shenzhen and proceeded to do a transfer on his computer from his Shenzhen account to the suspects’ designated bank.

The antivirus software blocked the transaction and later identified the site from a long list of complaints by actual and would-be scam victims.

A police spokesman said 33 reports of phone scams using fake identities of mainland officials had been received in the first five months of the year.

Nineteen attempts were successful, all of which involved Hong Kong people who lost a combined HK$13 million.

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TL/AC/RA

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