Fraudster purports to be a businessman and alleges to the victim that there will be a major investment development project and financing is needed from the bank. But as it takes time for the movement of relevant funds, high return is thus given to attract the victim to lend funds to the fraudster for use as security for the bank. To gain the trust of the victim, the fraudster will use false proofs of bank deposits or assets to deceive the victim in lending the money. The fraudster will lose contact upon receiving the funds.
Fraudsters use forged identity cards and pretend to be property owners to put properties on sale, alleging that the tenants of their properties refuse to let buyers view the properties, and succeed in deceiving estate agents, solicitors’ firms and buyers, etc. On the other hand, the fraudsters change their names into the names of the real property owners to open bank accounts. Afterwards, the fraudsters use the bank accounts to receive the buyers’ deposits, then become out of reach, making the buyers suffer losses.
In recent years, some fraudsters, under the pretext of recruitment, lured and deceived young job seekers including university students on summer vacation after examination as well as the unemployed youths. Fraudsters would make use of social media network to post recruitment advertisements with wording such as “flexible working hours”, “handsome pay posts” and “quick cash opportunities” for soliciting, causing young people eager to seek jobs to fall into the traps, thereby deceived their money.
Fraudsters pretended to be couriers, bank staff or law enforcement agents and asked the victims to pay or transfer money to designated accounts using various pretexts, such as to retrieve a parcel, and the victim being wanted for having committed an offence etc.
In a fraud case of ‘Impersonating Mainland Official’, a victim lost $58.8 million.
Police recently received a number of complaints in which some people disguised themselves as insurance intermediaries and sold vehicle insurance with lower premium to deceive vehicle owners. However, after paying the premium, the vehicle owners found that the cover notes or the formal insurance policies received were forged documents, thus they suffered from monetary loss and potential risks.
In recent scenarios, fraudsters pretended to be couriers and telephoned victims, alleged that parcels under victims’ names were involved in criminal activities violating the Mainland law. The telephone line was then diverted to other fraudsters who claimed themselves law enforcement agents in the Mainland. The victims were asked to browse a fraudulent website of the said law enforcement department where bogus arrest warrants in relation to themselves were found. With an excuse of proving their innocence, the fraudsters requested the victims to provide their personal information, remit money to designated bank accounts in the Mainland, or directly handed cash to purported police officers impersonated by the fraudsters. In some occasions, the fraudsters ordered the victims to hide themselves in hotel and stop all forms of communication. The fraudsters then called the relatives of victims, alleged having kidnapped them and demanded for ransoms.
Victims received calls from fraudsters, who claimed to be a staff of a bank. Fraudsters claimed that they could offer re-mortgage loan with lower rate. Fraudsters met victims and claimed that he/she was a sub-contractor convincing victims to borrow personal loan from another financial institution. Fraudsters alleged that victims only needed to settle the loan with their company at a lower rate. Victims complied and handed the loan proceeds to fraudsters, who in turn became out of reach.
Fraudsters made fake copies of the mooncake redemption coupons using offsetting printing or simply colour photocopying machines. The counterfeit coupons were either sold via the Internet at a much cheaper price or redeemed during the busiest hours of the shops.
The seized counterfeit Hong Kong dollar banknotes are insignificant when compared with the number of banknotes in circulation in Hong Kong. They are mostly of poor quality, and were mainly produced by ‘Inkjet’ or ‘Toner’ printers. Most of the counterfeit banknotes have no security features and a smooth surface with no embossed feel. Some even have the same serial number.
As advised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, bitcoin is not considered as legal tender but a virtual commodity, which is not backed by any physical items, issuers or the real economy, so it has no fixed value. Bitcoins are outside the regulatory ambit of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Fraudsters use the technique of “Caller ID Spoofing” to masquerade as the victim by falsifying the number of the victim on the caller ID display. When the victim answered the call out of curiosity, the victim was required to input his credit card number in order to obtain a low interest loan. The fraudster then uses the acquired information for an unlawful purpose, such as using the credit card without owner’s authorization.
If a ransomware is planted in a computer via emails from unknown sources, files stored on the computer will be encrypted and cannot be opened unless the user pays the fraudster a ransom to purchase the decryption program or decryption key.
Swindlers logged in social media accounts with login names or email addresses and passwords acquired by illegal means. They then posed as the users of these accounts and sent deceptive messages to the users’ friends on the contact lists, requesting them to buy virtual point cards or reload cards on their behalf. They also asked for the serial numbers/authorization codes and passwords on the cards, and then could not be reached after getting such information.
Fraudsters set up a company and persuade victims to participate in online bidding scheme launched by the company by paying about HK$10,000 for “bid points”, which were used for bidding luxury goods on the company’s website at cheaper price. At the same time, participants could earn bonus by recruiting new participants. The more new participants they recruited as their downliners, the more bonuses they could earn. However, no participants had so far successfully bid any goods, or received their bonuses. They turned up at the office of the company but found it vacated.
Fraudsters approached victim via cold calls purportedly for research interviews or questionnaires. After fraudsters had persuaded victim intensively and claimed that their company would give a tablet computer to her as a welcoming gift, victim decided to invest on LLG. Victim then signed documents authorizing fraudsters to trade on her behalf, and fraudsters conducted frequent transactions without notifying the victim. Victim finally suffered from a total capital loss after a few months.
Lately, there were job offers posted on social media platform recruiting youngsters to fabricate positive comments for online shops. Job experience was not required and teenagers under 16 were also recruited. People who applied the jobs were requested to pay upfront fee, which would not be returned until they had made hundreds of positive comments for specific online shops.
Criminals purported themselves as single and successful businessperson engaged in overseas trading business who are looking for a friend via Internet chat forum or online dating website. They would then keep close communication with victims via the Internet chat forum and slowly earn their trust over time. Sometimes, photographs may also be exchanged. After the criminals established the illusion of a genuine and intimate relationship with victims, they would begin asking victims to assist them in receiving/transferring remittances purportedly related to their business. In fact, the remittances were crime proceeds and victims were being exploited as a stooge for money laundering.
Victim met the culprits through Social Media Network. After getting acquainted through the Internet, the culprit told Victim that he had sent a parcel full of cash totally amounting to US$400,000 to her. Victim later received a phone call from an alleged courier who stated that they found the cash inside the parcel, and as a result an extra handling fee, amounting to HK$200,000 was required before she could collect the parcel. After making remittance, Victim lost contact with the culprits and she did not get her parcel.
Overseas victims received phone calls telling them they had won a large sum of money or luxury gifts in a lottery. As a result, they were deceived into remitting a total of HK$3.63 million to various bank accounts in Hong Kong as handling charges or administrative fees for the release of the purported prizes.
In recent years, there are swindlers approaching victims on the Internet through social networking platforms or instant messaging software in the name of ‘making friends’. The swindlers would then induce the victims to be naked or make some indecent exposures in front of network cameras. Later on, the swindlers would claim that they have the video clips of the victims’ naked bodies on hand and blackmail the victims into remitting money to a foreign bank account; otherwise they would upload the video clips to the Internet.
The female victim met a male online friend on social networking platform. Later on, they became online friends and even lovers. The male made use of the relationship to borrow money from the victim with different excuses and then flee.