Like apples in a basket, a cohort of scammers can have a few rotten, useless ones.
They’re not the sort of guys who thought up the courier con (you have an illegal substance in your parcel), the threatening tax swindle (you owe the government money) or the ICAC scam (you’re dead) — all of which have had varying degrees of success.
This one involves a group of con men who are so inept we almost wish there were more of them instead of the smart ones.
Apple Daily is reporting that a mother named Eva received a phone call at work that her son had been kidnapped and that it would take HK$1 million (US$129,000) to get him back.
The culprits stayed on the phone long enough to let her hear the boy’s cry for help.
“Mom, they wouldn’t let me talk. They beat me.”
She lingered on, listening to the boy and talking to the culprits, as her officemates gathered around the speaker phone.
Then Eva realized she had just turned the tables on scammers.
In fact, she does not have a son but a daughter and she was safe.
But what if she did have a son?
Eva wanted to warn parents about this type of con, so she decided to share the taped conversation with the would-be kidnappers on WhatsApp.
Although it had a happy ending, the experience had Eva shaking like a leaf.
“My hands were cold and trembling when I called my daughter and no one picked up the phone,” she said.
“But my husband called back and told me she was safe and sound.”
Benjamin Lai, chairman of the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong, said parents are vulnerable to any type of scam that purports to endanger their children or any family member.
Lai said scammers will take advantage of the vulnerability.
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