HK man's scam thwarted in Taiwan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am


A 'greedy' Hong Kong tourist was arrested in Taiwan on Sunday after he allegedly conned cashiers out of about NT$2,700 (HK$800), while he had the equivalent of HK$51,000 in his pocket.

The 60-year-old man was nabbed in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan, after he deceived a busy coffee-shop worker into giving him change for a NT$1,000 note he had already taken back.

Police found he had worked the same trick on several other cashiers.

Taiwanese media reported that when officers asked him why he had conned people out of such small amounts when he had so much cash he replied: 'Everyone is greedy. If I ever got busted, I could pretend to have forgotten to pay. No one would care about a few dollars.'

The reports said the suspect went into the coffee shop on Sunday evening and bought two ice cream cones.

He handed over a NT$1,000 note but when the cashier asked if he had smaller change, he took the note back and presented a NT$50 coin, while keeping the cashier talking in a 'friendly tone'. He then took back the coin and gave the cashier a NT$10 one and demanded change of NT$950 as he had given NT$1,010.

The cashier gave him what he asked for and didn't realise her mistake until he had left. A co-worker chased the man to a railway station, where he was arrested.

Police said he had successfully worked similar scams with three other cashiers and had been caught out by three others.

Reports said he was found to have NT$190,000 (HK$51,000), which he said he had brought from Hong Kong to buy jade. The man had visited Taiwan seven times in three years but his record was clear, the reports said.