23 February 2019
A member of the City University teaching staff was one of the victims of the phone scams. Photo:HKEJ
A member of the City University teaching staff was one of the victims of the phone scams. Photo:HKEJ

Professor, three students lose HK$1.08 mln to phone scammers

Despite government warnings against phone scammers and news about their latest schemes, many people in Hong Kong still fall prey to their nefarious activities.

A university professor and three students lost a combined HK$1.08 million to con artists who posed as mainland authorities, news website reports.

A 43-year-old woman surnamed Zhong, who is a member of the teaching staff at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), received a call on Wednesday from a male and a female claiming to be from law enforcement agencies in the mainland.

The callers told her that an unspecified criminal case has been filed against her in the mainland, and that she needed to enter her bank account information and personal details at a website as part of the investigation procedures.

She later discovered that a sum of 672,000 yuan (US$100,700) had been withdrawn from her bank account.

Zhong, originally from the mainland, is a holder of a Hong Kong identity card, Metro Daily reported.

On the same day, a similar trick was used on a 20-year-old local student surnamed Chow from the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

The callers were also a man and a woman claiming to be from law enforcement agencies in the mainland.

After being told that he had a criminal case in the mainland, Chow followed the instructions of the callers to open an account with a mainland bank and transfer there the sum of HK$248,000.

He later found that the funds had vanished after he entered the relevant bank account details at a website given by the callers.

The two separately called the police after suspecting they might have been scammed.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old female university student surnamed Sin reported to the Tseung Kwan O police station that she lost 29,000 yuan after she was ordered by a caller claiming to be a mainland law enforcement agent to deposit the sum in a newly opened mainland bank account.

The fourth victim is a 20-year-old student of the University of Science and Technology surnamed Ting.

On Sept. 27, she received a call from someone who claimed to be a mainland government official.

Ting then complied with the caller’s instruction to transfer 190,000 yuan to a mainland bank account, which vanished afterwards.

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