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Consumers

Hong Kong women ‘duped out of HK$2.1 million’ after handsome men take them to beauty salons on first date

At least 42 victims say they were chatted up online, then dumped once they had signed up for expensive treatment packages

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2017, 6:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 5:05pm

Dozens of women claim they were cheated out of up to HK$250,000 a time by handsome men who took them to beauty salons on their first dates and forced them into buying expensive treatment.

Democratic Party member Yuen Hoi-man said at least 42 victims, mostly single women, had come forward to report scams totalling HK$2.1 million in the past six months.

The cases involved seven middlemen and a beauty chain, Dr BK Laser, which runs salons in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay.

Victims said the men, all young and good looking, chatted them up via Facebook, WeChat and other social media posing as family types who took good care of their parents and loved children and animals. Some claimed to be Christians.

The relevant law enforcing departments need to take action to prevent more women falling into the trap
Yuen Hoi-man, Democratic Party

The men arranged expensive facial treatments as a “surprise” on their dates. But the women were asked to pay for the service afterwards and then persuaded or forced by the men or salon staff to sign up for costly treatment packages.

Some victims had reported the cases to police, but officers found no evidence of a criminal offence.

“Given that more and more victims are coming forwards, it is obvious that it is an organised crime,” said Yuen, who held a press conference alongside some victims on Sunday.

“I am sure there are more victims who did not come forward. The relevant law enforcing departments need to take action to prevent more women falling into the trap.”

Of the 42 cases reported to Yuen, around 10 women had yet to settle their financial disputes with the salon.

“They locked the door and persuaded me for hours to sign up for the package,” one victim, who refused to be identified, said. “I just wanted to leave, so I signed and paid.”

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Yuen said the salon claimed the men were just keen customers who gained a facial treatment as a reward for bringing friends. Victims said that after paying for the treatment the men did not contact them again.

The Post was still waiting for the salon to reply to inquiries, while staff at a Mong Kok centre refused to comment.

“Many of the victims are very trusting,” Yuen said. “We urge girls to remain vigilant when a total stranger suddenly befriends you on social media.”