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Scams and swindles

Hong Kong police arrest seven over investment scam, in which victims – promised a quick and big return – were merely sent soccer betting tips

Victims, almost all female, were told they could turn HK$1,000 into HK$250,000 in eight days

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 7:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 7:30am

Police this week rounded up suspected members of an investment scam ring targeting women, who were told they could turn HK$1,000 (US$127) into HK$250,000 in eight days.

More than 50 women fell prey to the gang, which posted promotional messages about the supposed lucrativeness of its investment plans on Facebook from last year.

Some targets were also persuaded to pay about HK$10,000 for permanent membership of the scheme.

Police arrested four men and three women, aged 20 to 49, in various Hong Kong locations including Sha Tin, Tai Po, Kwun Tong and Kowloon City from Tuesday to Sunday.

Officers seized computers, mobile phones, phone cards, ATM cards and bank documents. They said further arrests were possible.Officers seized computers, mobile phones, phone cards, ATM cards and bank documents

At least 53 people – 52 women and a man – including housewives, clerical workers and students, contacted the scammers on WhatsApp. In total, they paid in HK$390,000. The arrested suspects were the listed holders of the accounts the money was paid in to.

They were told to pay the cash into bank accounts, but in return they got nothing but supposed tips for soccer betting.

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Police received complaints from victims from July last year to January.