Date
6 December 2016
A policeman shows how Ko swindled money from his victims. The defendant is facing charges relating to rape, obtaining property by deception and extortion, Photo: tvb.com
A policeman shows how Ko swindled money from his victims. The defendant is facing charges relating to rape, obtaining property by deception and extortion, Photo: tvb.com

Unemployed man on trial for dating app scam

A 32-year-old unemployed man is on trial in Eastern magistrates’ court, accused of conning money out of women he met through an online dating app and sexually assaulting two of them.

The defendant, surnamed Ko, is facing charges relating to rape, obtaining property by deception and extortion, Sing Tao Daily reports.

He was arrested in Happy Valley with 10 mobile phones, phone cards, condoms and some cash in his possession.

Sin Kwok-ming, chief inspector (crime) of the Wan Chai Police district, said the police had received a dozen reports of online dating scam.

Their investigations led to Ko who is suspected of committing the offenses between September last year and October this year.

Ko used a dating app to make friends with the victims and then took advantage of them to swindle money, Sin said.

Although not personable, Ko gained the trust of his victims, partly because he is a smooth talker.

He introduced himself as a senior bank executive from a rich family.

Investigators said Ko used various tricks and lies, such as losing his wallet, needing money urgently or being in debt in order to get money from his victims.

Police found at least 11 women and one man, aged between 22 and 52, who fell prey to his scam.

Altogether, the victims lost HK$1.5 million (US$193,400) including HK$600,000 from a man whose relative fell for Ko’s love trap.

Another victim paid for a rental flat for Ko in Happy Valley.

The victims were from all walks of life, including a real estate agent, a cram school teacher, a waitress, an exchange shop employee, a housewife and a maid.

Two of his victims were allegedly raped.

Sin said there could be more victims and urged them to come forward, news website hk01.com reports.

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