A female university student from the mainland was cheated out of 180,000 yuan (MOP 217,000) in a phone scam, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Chan Wun Man said during a regular press conference on Monday.
The 19-year-old victim is studying at a local university. She reported to the police on Saturday that she had been cheated out of 180,000 yuan in a phone scam. She told the police that she received a call on 13 October from a man who claimed that he was a “local telecommunications staff member”. The man told her that her personal data had been used by someone to apply for a smartphone number which spread rumours online about the COVID-19 epidemic.
The man told her that her personal data was suspected to have been stolen by others and suggested her to report the case to the police. The man then assisted her in “transferring” the call to the “Public Security Bureau in Wuhan” where “a police officer” asked her to give him her personal data and told her that she was suspected of involvement in money laundering.
The purported police officer asked the victim to use another communication app for further contact and follow up, and he also told her to keep everything confidential. The victim denied any involvement in money laundering and the officer transferred the call to a “prosecutor in Wuhan” to talk to her.
The “prosecutor” told her to hand over all her money for a “fund review” to prove that she’s innocent.
The victim subsequently transferred a total of 180,000 yuan in 13 tranches to a designated bank account between 14 October and last Thursday. The victim then received another call on Saturday from another “prosecutor” who asked for another 30,000 yuan. The victim finally grew suspicious and after discussing the matter with her mother she decided to report the case to the police.