Online scams are on the rise.
There are plenty of online love scams floating around on the Internet nowadays. Women fall in love with men and are convinced to send them money some how. Most of the time it involves a gift being sent to the woman and her having to pay exorbitant "taxes" to retrieve her gifts. But recently, a woman was reported to have fallen for an investing scam.
Investing scams have been around for decades. From MLMs to gold ponzi schemes to other types of weird investing scam tactics, you might have heard of them.
But this recent case involves an investing scam which started of as a love scam.
A woman named Yu Qiong came forward to the police earlier this month when she reported her investing scam. Yu, who lives in Australia, had been taken for a ride by a man called Lee Hoi since meeting online in April last year.
The two became lovers, though their relationship was conducted solely through phone calls and messages.
Within a month, Lee began telling Yu about how he handled financial affairs for clients at Prudential Brokerage Limited, and he successfully convinced Yu to invest in firms on the Straits Times Index, the benchmark index for Singapore’s stock market.
The scammer also told Yu that he needed extra funds to deal with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.
Between May 15 and 26 2017, Yu transferred a total of US$275,000 into various Hong Kong Hang Seng Bank and HSBC accounts in multiple transactions, upon the instruction of Lee.
The accounts belonged to holders by the names of Wang Jin, Yang Xiucan, Zhou Jun and Chang Haih Hsia.
With the police report, Yu hopes to recover the entire sum she lost together with interest. Hong Kong has been plagued by online scams in recent years, though phone scams have reduced.
A specialist fraud squad was set up by police to tackle this problem almost a year ago, and since then, more than 1,100 requests have been received to halt payments scam victims had initiated. These payments totalled HK$3.26 billion (US$420 million).
The squad has helped freeze about HK$490 million (US$62.4 million) in almost 270 separate cases before the funds reached the scammers, according to sources.
Be sure not to fall for this investing scam or any other online scams. If you suspect you're being targeted by a scammer, report it to your local authorities immediately.