April 8, 2022 In loses, woman

Woman loses HK$65m in biggest phone scam this year

Police are investigating what could be the biggest phone scam recorded this year, after a 40-year-old housewife was allegedly conned out of HK$65 million by fraudsters posing as mainland officials.

Officers said the woman received a phone call last June from someone claiming to be from Beijing’s liaison office, and was told she was linked to a mainland case relating to the distribution of “fake information about Covid vaccines”.

The alleged victim then provided her bank details and handed over millions of dollars “as a guarantee”.

She was also taught how to explain to banks why she was making the transfers.

Senior inspector Yeung Chun-yu said the fraudsters also gave the woman mobile phones to communicate with her.

“The victim was contacted by the culprit every day, at least once a day. And the culprit would report the so-called investigation case progress to the victim. It made the victim believe that she was actually involved in criminal investigations in China,” he said.

Officers said they will investigate whether any cross-border syndicate is involved and if there are other victims.

The force also warned the public that there are malicious mobile phone apps which can intercept one-time passwords sent by banks and forward them to fraudsters.