Another elderly individual was duped out of a huge fortune yet again by phone scammers. This time, the 90-year-old woman lost a whopping HKD 254.9 million (RM135.2 million) in the biggest phone scam in Hong Kong.
According to Hong Kong police, the woman received a call from a man claiming to be a mainland law enforcement official in July 2020. She was then told that her identity was used “in a serious criminal case in mainland China”.
“She was then instructed to transfer her money to designated bank accounts to investigate whether the cash was the proceeds of crime… She was promised that all the money would be given back to her after the investigation,” said a police source.
The woman allegedly received a mobile phone at her home—a mansion at Hong Kong’s The Peak—in July to communicate with the con artist. She then transferred a total of RM135.2 million through 11 transactions into three accounts between August 2020 and January 2021.
One of the scammers even accompanied the woman to a bank to make one of the transactions. However, she then realised that it was a scam and contacted the police.
The police arrested a 19-year-old university student in March for having a connection with the crime. Officers also froze bank accounts containing HKD 9 million (RM4.7 million), but the phone scammers have already gotten away with the rest.
Last year, there was also a 90-year-old woman in Malaysia who lost RM3.83 million in a phone scam. She was told that a parcel from Ipoh to Sabah had contained identification and ATM cards under her name.
Please beware of unknown individuals that pretend to be police or bank officers. You can also read on how to protect yourself when strangers approach you to ask for your personal details.