Friday, 28 August 2015

Phishy Phone Business

Beware the phishy phone scams that aim to swindle money out of you
A friend recently told me about receiving a scam phone call, very similar to the other ones that managed to swindle more than HK$182 million since last month from gullible victims.

She said it was all role-playing, and remarked how they all acted very smoothly and each of the characters were interconnected.

At first, the supposed courier company representative got her to clarify her name and address in Putonghua and then claimed the parcel she had sent had fake documents.

Her call was then transferred to a supposed official who went over her details. Then, as if to talk to a nearby "colleague", he repeated her details to this other person, and she could overhear him saying she was suspected as part of a mainland investigation into a serious crime.

She was so shocked -- how could that be? To prove they had the right person, the man got her to disable her computer to click on a link to a website that would normally be considered phishy.

Soprano Li Yuanrong was cheated out of HK$20 million
It was then that they showed scanned coloured copies of her home return permit or hui heung jing which frightened her. How did they have it?

Even then she didn't think this was a scam.

At this point the man told her that there was a warrant issued for her arrest and she had to transfer money to resolve the case. They asked her if she had a bank account in China and she said no, but that she would have to transfer money into a China bank account. Otherwise they would come to Hong Kong and get her (since they had her address details).

It was then that they demanded her bank details and she refused to give it to them, but they kept repeating that the crime she was allegedly involved in was very serious and she had to resolve it otherwise they would come to get her.

Luckily at that same time my friend's boyfriend texted her to tell her this was a phone scam and not to give them anything.

She hung up the phone and they tried to call her again and she again refused.

A few days after they called early in the morning which annoyed her and she told them to piss off.

Later she realized that these scammers, whoever they are, probably got a copy of her home return permit card when she checked into a hotel in Beijing in June.

Someone in the hotel made some extra dough getting copies of hotel guests' details to these unscrupulous people who ran a pretty smooth operation.

All hotels in China take down your passport/ID details and make copies of them too -- there is no getting around this apparently regulation.

When will these scams end?! Luckily my friend was smart enough not to give away her bank details. She also thinks there are Hong Kong-based accomplices to get money from victims.

But as long as there are people who fall for this scam, the perpetrators will keep doing it...


1 comment:

  1. These phone scammers, with no doubt, will be the most dangerous criminals in the whole world. In US, there maybe billions of dollars have been lost because of these scammers. There are also thousands of reports filed by residents that I can find at sites like http://callercenter.com since years ago, and until today. Government and law enforcement agencies in every country in the world should think seriously about this problem.

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