Hong Kong police smash four jobs scam rings that cheated victims out of almost HK$4 million
Fraudsters would post bogus job adverts online offering high paying jobs to those with no work experience or qualifications
Police arrested 17 people in a crackdown on four scam rings accused of cheating 36 jobseekers out of almost HK$4 million.
Superintendent Raymond Lam Cheuk-ho from the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau said the scammers posted job advertisements on social media, online forums and phone applications for jobseekers, claiming there were jobs with quick and high payments, with no work experience or academic qualifications required.
Among 36 victims, some were persuaded to apply for loans with finance companies and to hand over the money. The fraudsters would then disappear with the money.
Some victims were invited by the scammers to hand over their own personal data, which was used to take out loans from financial firms in their name.
A female victim’s data was used to borrow HK$500,000, before she was persuaded to use her credit cards to buy gold worth more than HK$100,000. She lost contact with the scammers later, suffering a total loss of HK$600,000 – the largest loss among the victims.
Lam said three masterminds and nine core members in the rings were among the 17 arrested – nine men and eight women aged 17 to 52.
Computers, mobiles phones and bank documents were seized in the operation conducted from April 9 to 20, upon complaints received since May last year.
Police received 46 online scam cases targeting jobseekers in the first quarter of the year, up from 18 cases during the same period last year, involving HK$3.6 million in financial losses, compared with HK$1.7 million year-on-year.
Those who had fallen prey to fraudsters were usually aged below 40, including students, the jobless, or working adults who were looking for extra income.