A netizen has issued a warning on social media about a young woman who has been seen wandering about the Central MTR Station concourse on Sunday, approaching commuters and asking them for spare change purportedly to be able to buy a train ticket.
There’s certainly nothing unusual about a stranger asking for a few coins because it seems perfectly natural for one to forget to bring cash to buy a ticket when their Octopus card runs out of load.
But this woman has been seen quite often at the MTR station and has been regularly asking passersby for spare change.
The Facebook post, which was written by Fola Ng and comes with photos of the woman, has gone viral over the weekend, and several other netizens have commented that they have seen the woman, sometimes with a male companion, in several other MTR stations.
She is usually seen near the ATM and ticket machines at MTR stations, and has been asking everyone who passes by for money.
Ng said she has reported the matter to police officers and urged others not to hand her money as her begging activities appear to be highly suspicious.
Many netizens replied to her post and shared similar experiences with apparently the same woman wearing casual clothes and flip-flops.
They said they have seen her at the MTR stations in Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Admiralty, and Causeway Bay, among other places.
An older post by another netizen shows the woman and a male companion engaged in the same activity.
In fact, the netizen said, the woman has been seen counting a lot of coins in her wallet, thus revealing that it may indeed be a scam.
So far no one has tried to guess how much she may be earning in a day’s work, but judging by the willingness of commuters to spare her a few coins, she could be making more than a regular street mendicant would.
Other netizens said they had previously seen the woman doing the same activity at several bus stops in Sham Shui Po.
But since such places are open and regularly patrolled by police officers, the woman must have decided to move underground.
Translation by Chloe Chow
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