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Scams and swindles

Millions of dollars lost in online scams show Hong Kong’s lonely hearts have yet to learn vigilance

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 September, 2018, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 September, 2018, 5:03pm

I refer to reports about a love-struck Hong Kong businesswoman who lost US$23 million in a record for online romance scams (“Widow taken for record HK$180 million in romance scam”, September 7).

I think the 66-year-old wealthy widow was as careless as she was lonely, else why would she fall prey to such a con job, and one that lasted four years? She transferred such a huge amount of money to bank accounts in Hong Kong and in Europe, Southeast Asia and mainland China – all because the so-called British engineer, whom she had never met in person, said he needed money for a project?

Barely four months earlier, there was another report of a 56-year-old woman who lost HK$26.4 million in 18 months after being conned by a “financial analyst” in Malaysia.

Hong Kong scam victim loses US$143,500 to ‘Beijing policeman’

Despite such online scams becoming more common, and women being the victims nine out of 10 times, citizens are clearly failing to observe online vigilance, especially when using dating apps. This can be extremely dangerous. They should not trust people so easily, as people they meet online are often not what they seem.

Felix Tam, Tseung Kwan O