Don’t become a fraud statistic!

The criminal fraud figures reported in the June 18, 2022 edition of the South China Morning Post are staggering with the following headline: “Fraudsters defrauded over 6,000 Hong Kongers of HK$1.28 billion through of online telephone scams in the first 4 months of the year”.

The criminal fraud figures reported in the June 18, 2022 edition of the South China Morning Post are amazing with the following title: “Scammed Fraudsters HK$1.28 billion over 6,000 Hongkongers through online and telephone scams in the first 4 months of the year”. The bowers.law team regularly handle email/bank fraud and romance scams and give advice on how not to become a victim and if you do, how to try and get your money back. Please do everything you can to avoid becoming a fraud statistic!

Don’t become a fraud statistic!

The headline of the June 18, 2022 edition of the South China Morning Post reads:Scammed Fraudsters HK$1.28 billion over 6,000 Hongkongers through online and telephone scams in the first 4 months of the year”. Here are the scary numbers according to the Hong Kong police:

  • HK$1.28 billion ($163 million) was defrauded of over 6,000 Hong Kongers in the first 4 months of 2022
  • almost a quarter of the money lost by the victims was defrauded by an email fraud in which 102 companies and 25 people were duped out of HK$333 million
  • phone scammers pocketed HK$280m in 481 cases, of which 102 victims lost HK$144m as scammers used covid-related tricks to scam unsuspecting victims
  • 486 people defrauded of HK$250 million in online investment fraud
  • 510 victims lost over HK$235 million in romance scams
  • 860 job seekers were scammed out of HK$100 million
  • Biggest email scam involved foreign investment company defrauded of US$9.6 million
  • the amount of money pocketed by scammers in the first 4 months of 2022 was 17% higher than the HK$85.3 million lost by residents in 1,063 reported cases in all of 2021 – in 2020 , there were 236 cases involving total losses of HK$10.5 million
  • in 2021, Hong Kong police handled 549 email fraud reports in 2021, with scammers pocketing around HK$1.54 billion
  • fraudsters netted nearly HK$3 billion in 13,859 online deception cases in all of 2021

Worryingly, the total numbers for 2022 are expected to dwarf the numbers for 2021 (which are already huge).

Common scams in Hong Kong include:

  • crooks posing as mainland Chinese law enforcement, accusing targets of breaking the law and ordering them to post bail or disclose their online banking details as part of an ongoing criminal investigation (made)
  • sales scams – a type of employment fraud involving fraudsters sending out fake job offers such as “command handlers» by SMS or other instant messaging applications offering unemployed victims financial rewards (commissions) and employment for online purchases
  • roms on social networks in which cruel-hearted scammers lure their amorous brands with offers of amorous relationships to persuade them to “invest” in investment vehicles or crypto exchanges
  • impersonation of CFOs/CEOs/CFOs/customers/suppliers via emails (after hacking a company’s email system – usually an SME, but sometimes also listed companies – or (more usually) creating fake email accounts) requesting the redirection of payment funds to the bank accounts designated by the fraudsters (the highest value of these email/banking scams that the bowers.law team has handled is $13 million U.S. dollars)

Due to the international nature of scams (with each of the scammers, victims, and funds often in different jurisdictions as part of a fraud triangle), recovery rates are relatively erratic and arrests quite rare. The trick is to act fast to maximize your recovery!

Comments are closed.