Scammers have once again trapped two unwary victims in Macao, making away with more than half-a-million dollars.
Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Chan Wun Man said the first scammer employed a Guess-Who subterfuge to dupe his elderly victim out of thousands of dollars.
According to Chan, a retiree from Hong Kong who is in his 70s received a phone call on Thursday from a man claiming to be his nephew in Hong Kong. The male scammer said that he had changed his mobile phone number and made small talk with the victim for a while.
The “nephew” called the victim the next morning and told the retiree that he had been arrested for frequenting a prostitute and asked for HK$80,000 to pay his bail. Chan said that the victim believed what his “nephew” said, then followed his instructions and transferred the money to a Hong Kong bank account.
On Friday, the scammer called the victim again and claimed that bail had increased since the “prostitute” was “underage” and required an additional HK$180,000, and he also wanted to cover the HK$280,000 bail for a “friend” of his. The victim transferred HK$460,000 to the same bank account later that day.
Chan said that the “nephew” again came up with various reasons he needed money on Saturday and asked for another HK$500,000. The victim again attempted to transfer the money to him, but the bank clerk stopped the transaction and warned of probable deception. The victim eventually realised he had been scammed, and after consulting with his family members and making contact with his actual nephew, he reported the case to the police later that day.
In the second case, a student from mainland China who is in her twenties received a message from a “female friend” on Sunday on Weibo asking her to buy a plane ticket that a male acquaintance was selling. The victim then contacted the vendor and transferred 27,600 yuan (MOP 30,800) to a mainland China bank account.
According to Chan, the man said later that day that the economy class seats were sold out and she needed to pay 28,600 yuan more to upgrade to business class. The victim spoke to her “friend” on Weibo and her friend requested she make the payment, after which the victim attempted to borrow money from another friend for the transaction but was warned that she was probably being scammed, The Macau Post Daily reported.
Chan said that after reaching her actual friend, the victim reported the case to the police later that day.