The family of a Primary 3 student called police when his mother suspected that a woman who claimed to be a teacher at the boy’s school and offered to give him private lessons was a fraud, Headline Daily reported Thursday.
The woman, surnamed Wong, who introduced herself as a teacher at the Chiu Yang Primary School of Hong Kong in Tin Shui Wai, called the boy’s father Sunday evening and said his son was doing poorly in English, the mother, surnamed Lee, said.
Lee’s husband accepted Wong’s offer of private lessons for the child.
Wong asked for HK$280 (US$36) per hour, which she said was discounted from her usual rate of HK$350.
She arrived at the family’s home about 30 minutes later and started checking the boy’s homework.
Wong had been there for three hours when Lee came home.
Lee asked Wong to leave.
When Lee produced HK$840 for the three hours, Wong said she actually charged by the number of sessions of 45 minutes each, so the fee should be HK$1,120 for four sessions.
Lee suspected a scam, and her husband called police.
When two police officers arrived, Wong agreed to return the HK$840.
Police confirmed Wednesday that a man reported to the police Sunday a dispute over tutoring fees with a 32-year-old woman (whose surname was in fact Lau and not Wong) who claimed to be a teacher at his son’s school.
Lau agreed not to charge any fees and the police said they are investigating if there were any other cases involving the woman.
The boy’s mother said the fake teacher was well-groomed and spoke fluent English, Apple Daily reported.
Lee said she is very worried about how the woman could have gathered so much information about her family, including her son’s name, school, residential address and even the number of her husband’s mobile phone.
She also grew suspicious of the teacher’s identity when her son said he had never seen her at school.
The school confirmed to Lee the next day that no such person works there.
It said it has contacted the police community relations office and issued a circular to raise the awareness of parents and students of the possibility of such scams.
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