Date
27 July 2017
A woman whose luxury handbag was seized at Shenzhen Bay port after a Hong Kong shopping trip has fallen victim to a telephone scam. Photo: CNSA
A woman whose luxury handbag was seized at Shenzhen Bay port after a Hong Kong shopping trip has fallen victim to a telephone scam. Photo: CNSA

Shenzhen woman loses 28,000 yuan to fake Customs officer

A Shenzhen woman was cheated out of 28,000 yuan (US$4,352) by a man who pretended to be a Customs officer at a border facility with Hong Kong, Headline Daily reported.

The woman, who bears the surname Zhang, visited Hong Kong on October 15 and bought a luxury handbag for over HK$50,000.

When she was returning home the same day through the Shenzhen Bay port, the handbag was seized by a Customs officer on charge of evasion of import duty.

Zhang returned to the port on Nov. 4 to follow up on the matter. She was told that her handbag had been confiscated, prompting her to leave in disappointment.

Then minutes after she left, she received a call from a man who claimed to be an official with the Customs anti-smuggling department.

During the call, the man who identified himself as Lin, told Zhang that she can retrieve her handbag by paying 28,000 yuan in import duty.

Acting as per instruction, Zhang remitted 28,000 yuan to a designated bank account.

Lin called her back the next day and told her go to the Customs office to get back her handbag.

But when Zhang went to the office, she realized that there had been no such arrangement. She tried to contact Lin, but the calls didn’t go through.

It was then that Zhang realized she had been conned.

She reported the matter to the police, and an investigation is underway.

A police officer suspects that the con job was pulled off as someone may have eavesdropped when Zhang was being told that her handbag was being confiscated.

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KZ/AC/RC

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