Police have arrested a 31-year-old Chinese woman for allegedly scamming eight families out of more than HK$90,000 in educational travel fees and for issuing dishonored checks to travel agents.
The suspect, surnamed Xu, was arrested in Tai Po on Thursday after several complaints, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Investigators said Xu offered discounted tours of HK$4,500 to HK$6,500, through a travel agency called Yu Hing Nature.
Xu allegedly told her victims that the low prices were made possible after some group members dropped out. The original price was supposedly HK$18,000.
The victims did not discover the scam until they went to the agency on Jan. 12 for a briefing session and found out that their names were not on the list.
Police said Xu approached her unsuspecting clients on a WhatsApp account for school parents.
She identified herself as the founder of a charity, according to Headline Daily.
A parent, surnamed To, paid Xu for her child’s tour ticket in full only to learn from the agency that the payment had not been received.
To had recommended the trip to other parents. Five families paid a combined HK$94,000.
A local travel agency said Xu had contacted them in October asking about a seven-day trip to Seoul.
However, they said they never received any payment after she wrote them a check.
EGL tours said they had been working with Yu Hing Nature until they realized that all the checks they had been given could not be cashed.
In all, eight families were deceived but only five reported the incident to the police.
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