An elderly couple has been cheated out of HK$100,000 (US$12,880) in the latest case of a telephone scam in Hong Kong.
According to a complaint filed with the police, an 81-year-old woman surnamed Ng received a call on Tuesday from a man who claimed to have kidnapped her son.
The woman, who lives in Shau Kei Wan along with her husband, was told that she would need to make a ransom payment to secure the son’s release, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
During the call, the elderly lady also heard a voice in the background crying out for help, uttering phrases such as “Mom, help me” and “Don’t hit me”.
Thinking that the voice might be that of her younger son, Ng feared for his safety.
The caller said the son would be released only if HK$100,000 is paid in ransom.
Ng was shaken by the call and quickly tried to reach her son on his phone. But she failed to get through, prompting her to believe that he was indeed in trouble.
The anxious mother then agreed to the caller’s demand to meet him outside a HSBC branch in Shau Kei Wan to pay the ransom.
Ng and her 88-year-old husband went to the bank at about 2 pm Tuesday and withdrew cash for the ransom payment.
After they were leaving the bank premises, a man suddenly came toward them and tried to grab their bag which contained the money.
A struggle ensued, during which Ng’s husband was pushed down on the ground, causing him to suffer minor head injury. The assailant then seized the bag and fled from the area.
The police arrived at the scene after receiving a report from a passerby. An investigation has been launched into the case that has been classified as one of scam and assault.
Ng’s son was apparently never kidnapped. He told Ming Pao Daily that he failed to take his mother’s call as he was busy at work.
Apart from the Ng case, the police have received a telephone fraud complaint from another woman.
In that case, a 66-year-old woman said that she was conned out of 360,000 yuan by a man who claimed to be her relative and asked her to lend him some money.
The woman said she transferred the money to a bank account in the mainland after believing the man’s claims, which later turned out to be false.
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