Telephone Deception by “Pretending Officials”
Victims received calls from swindlers impersonating law enforcement officers or staff of government organisations, such as the Immigration Department, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Department of Health, etc. The calls would then be forwarded to another swindler, who claimed to be a Mainland public security officer and that the victims had violated the laws on the Mainland. The swindlers would even forge a “arrest warrant issued by Mainland authorities”, deceiving the victims into believing that they were involved in the cases concerned. The swindlers would then request the victims to provide sensitive personal data such as bank account details and passwords in order to prove their innocence.
- Transfer money into bank accounts
The swindlers would request the victims to directly transfer money from their bank accounts or remit money through money changers into designated local/Mainland bank accounts.
- Provide online banking accounts and passwords
The swindlers would get victims’ online banking accounts and passwords in the follow ways:
- Request for personal data directly such as online banking accounts and passwords;
- Provide a link to a fake website which would request victims to input their online banking accounts and passwords;
- Request the victims to download fraudulent/malicious mobile applications and input their online banking accounts and passwords.
Eventually, the swindlers transferred the money out of the victims’ online banking accounts.
- Law enforcement officers or staff of government organisations would not make pre-recorded voice calls to the public, nor require the public to provide online banking accounts and passwords or make a bank transfer in order to prove your innocence;
- If the callers claim themselves as law enforcement officers or staff of government organisations and request for your personal data and property with various reasons, contact the corresponding offices to verify the identity of the callers;
- Do not disclose to any stranger your personal data, including your names, HKID numbers, bank account numbers, online banking accounts and passwords;
- Do not download unknown mobile applications, or input any information into unknown mobile applications or websites;
- Use official online stores (such as Google Play or App Store);
- Enhance the security of online banking by adopting multifactor authentication;
- If you fail to receive SMS alerts after you conduct a fund transfer or make a transaction as usual, stay vigilant and contact corresponding banks for enquiries;
- Remember the “Three Dos” against telephone deception — “Hang Up”, “Verify” and “Get Help”.
- Remind your relatives and friends to stay vigilant against deception.
- If in doubt, call the Police’s “Anti-Scam Helpline 18222”.