Internet users have been warned to be careful when seeking casual relationships online after a mainland businessman lost HK$300,000 in cash and valuables through such a liaison.
The man, 34, got to know the woman through mobile messaging service WeChat and invited her to his room in the Sheraton Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui on Monday night. She told him she was visiting from Beijing for sightseeing and would return to the mainland today. Carrying a suitcase, the Putonghua-speaking woman in her 20s arrived at his room late on Monday.
"The man claimed he chatted with her overnight and then allowed her to stay in his room," a police officer said. She was asleep in his room when he went out at about 2pm on Tuesday. When he returned several hours later, she had disappeared, leaving her luggage behind.
Although his Patek Philippe watch worth HK$270,000, two iPhones and US$500 were missing, he did not call police immediately. He made a report at about 3am yesterday after he failed to contact her via WeChat.
Police said there were a few clothes in the woman's case but no identification document was found. An officer said leaving the luggage was probably a tactic to make the victim believe she would return to collect it. "This would delay the victim from seeking help so that she had enough time to leave," he said.
Police believe the woman was a mainland swindler who found her targets on WeChat. He said sex was probably involved.
WeChat is an instant messaging application similar to WhatsApp. It has a feature in which users can shake their phones to activate the Look Around function to find online friends nearby.
Police are checking the hotel's security video in an effort to identify the woman. No one had been arrested last night.