Phone scammers demand ransoms from HK parents

May 11, 2015 15:35
Phone scammers are becoming more outrageous in their ploys to part Hongkongers from their money. Photo:

At least one Hong Kong parent was cheated of HK$50,000 recently by a phone scammer from mainland China demanding ransom for a kidnapped child, Headline Daily reported Monday.

The parent was one of several who had been phoned and told their children had been kidnapped, with a child's voice put on the line to make the claim believable, the report said. 

In a different case, a mother surnamed Chan said she received a call Thursday morning from a child who sounded like her 13-year-old daughter.

The girl cried loudly: “Mom, please save me. I’m very scared.”

Before Chan could ask for details, the voice of a man came onto the line.

He asked Chan how she could have no idea what her daughter had done.

The man said the girl had guaranteed a loan taken out by a friend and now owed HK$480,000.

He ordered Chan to transfer money to his bank account, otherwise she could simply wait for her daughter’s death.

The man told Chan not to call the police and not to put down the phone, or else he would kill her daughter.

Chan’s phone signal went off by accident. When the scammers called back, they were taken to her voicemail.

They accidentally left a recording of their conversation, in which some of them were joking in a mainland dialect.

Chan realized they had tried to scam her.

She called the police after calling the school and confirming that her daughter was in class.

Chan posted her experience online, warning other parents to be wary of such scams.

A Police Public Relations Bureau spokesman confirmed that a 34-year-old woman had reported to police on May 7 that she had been asked by a man to deposit money into a bank account on the same day, after she was told her daughter had agreed to be the guarantor for a loan.

Police have classified it as a case of deception.

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