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Scams and swindles

Man arrested over cheating 24 people out of HK$70,000 in online sales scams

Officers accuse 31-year-old of taking payment for electronics he sold online, but never sending the products

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2017, 3:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2017, 4:40pm

A man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of cheating at least 24 people in an online sales scam involving second-hand electronics.

The 31-year-old Hongkonger was thought to have taken payment for the products, but never sent them to the buyers. He was picked up when officers raided his flat in Ying Ming Court on Po Lam Road North, Tseung Kwan O, shortly after daybreak.

Officers said it seemed the suspect, who works as an IT technician, was linked with 24 online shopping fraud cases involving a total of HK$70,000.

“The victims bought electronic products via online auction sites and paid through a designated bank account,” Inspector Johnny Wong Chung-yin of Sha Tin police district said.

He said that after the buyers made payment, the goods were not delivered and they could not get in touch with the seller. The undelivered items included second-hand tablets, laptops and mobile phones.

He said the suspect was the holder of the bank account used to collect the payments, and police were still investigating whether he had an accomplice.

Officers began investigating after complaints from the buyers between June and September.

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In the Tseung Kwan O flat, they seized four mobile phones, a laptop, a tablet and seven bank cards.

At about 9am, they escorted the hooded and handcuffed man from the flat and drove him to Sha Tin Police Station.

The man was arrested on suspicion of obtaining property by deception, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

In the afternoon, the suspect was still being held for questioning and had not been charged.