Phone scamming is a bigger problem than you think - here's how to handle it

By Sebastien Raybaud

Phone scammers have tricked residents out of millions so far this year so here are some smart tips from the HK police to avoid becoming a victim

By Sebastien Raybaud |

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There have been 716 phone scam cases  involving a total of HK$198 million in Hong Kong between January and September this year, a police spokeswoman said yesterday. Young Post asked how many teens were affected, but the police were unable to comment.

In July, a 14-year-old girl in Hong Kong was tricked into paying out HK$7,600. The secondary school student received a phone call asking her to pay bail money to “prove her innocence” by a scammer who claimed to be a law enforcement official from Shanghai.

The victim later transferred the money at a currency exchange store in Sham Shui Po. The police in the East Kowloon division are still investigating the incident.

To help Hong Kong residents spot the difference between a genuine call and a scammer, police reminded them that the Immigration Department or mainland officials will never request internet banking passwords or money.

If the callers claim to be agents of law enforcement departments, victims should contact the corresponding officers to verify the calls. People should never reveal their bank account numbers or names of family and friends to the callers. If it does happen to you, alert a trusted adult immediately.

You can also call Anti-Deception Co-ordination Centre (ADCC) at 18222 and find out more information on their website.

Edited by Ginny Wong