Latest Case Scenario
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.
How does it work?
Victim receives unsolicited messages either by SMS, telephone call, post or email that he/she has won a large sum of cash or a valuable prize in a lottery organised by an internationally-renowned organisation. The victim, attracted by the prize, makes a response and communicates with the fraudsters who use stalling tactics with convincing claims that the money or prize was being held with certain reputable banks/ financial institutions/ government organisations. Subsequently, the victim makes remittances, either through banks and/ or remittance agencies, to various bank accounts or unknown persons/ recipients overseas as administrative fees.
The victim might become suspicious initially after a few payments to the fraudsters but when the victim is referred to other associates in the scam or the so-called ‘professional people’ – fictitious legal professionals, bank managers, and even police officers – each time with the production of fictitiously sealed official documents, the victim is once again convinced and therefore makes further payments as insurances fees, handling charges, local and provincial government taxes, etc. The process is continued until the victim finally realises that he/she has been deceived.
What is our advice?
- If it is too good to be true, it probably is;
- Beware of scam – remember that if you had not entered any prize or lottery draw in another country or with any internationally-renowned or recognised organisation – you have most probably NOT won a prize;
- Stay Alert – remember that real lottery prizes do not need your payment to redeem them – otherwise it is LIKELY to be a scam;
- Never deposit money into a bank account unless you know the account holder; and
- Report any suspicious SMS, telephone call, post or email on suspected lottery frauds to Police at the first opportunity.