A 42-year-old woman, who recently immigrated to Hong Kong from the mainland, lost HK$10.3 million (US$1.32 million) to a phone scam.
The woman, surnamed Li, told police she received a call from a man at her home in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island on April 14, Ming Pao Daily reports.
Claiming to be an officer of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, the caller accused Li of being involved in a criminal case.
He asked her to open a bank account in the mainland.
Li complied with the man’s instructions, deposited a total of HK$10.3 million in 11 tranches in a bank account in Shenzhen, and gave him the password to the account.
After finding out that all of the money in the account had been withdrawn, she realized she had been swindled and reported the case to the police on Wednesday, Apple Daily reported.
A criminal investigation team from the Wan Chai Police Station is handling the case, which has been listed as obtaining property by deception.
A total of 171 cases of phone scams were reported during the first three months of the year, with the victims in 127 of the cases losing a combined HK$40.58 million and 78 of them falling prey to fake mainland officials, police said.
The number of phone scams by people claiming to be mainland officials has increased rapidly since April, totaling 11 so far with the combined amount reaching HK$12.45 million.
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