HK Police reports a sharp rise in phone scams

A recent survey from the HK Police shows that in the first seven months of 2015, 2,371 phone scams were reported with monetary loss amounting to $175.7 million, a surge of 70 per cent compared with the same period last year.

According to the HK Police report: "There was a sharp rise in cases of telephone scams with swindlers pretending to be mainland officials.

"Police have set up a task force which is now collaborating with different parties to combat this kind of scam and will also continue to promote anti-crime messages through various channels. Members of the public are reminded to stay calm when receiving suspicious calls, and always be cautious whenever they are asked for their personal details including bank account numbers and passwords. They should report to the Police whenever in doubt," a Police spokesman said.

Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams — from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail or place ads to convince you to call them.

Police hotline: 2527 7177

Top 10 Scams

Here are the top 10 scams documented by the league's Fraud.org project:

  1. Internet sales. Either misrepresented goods or products never received.
  2. Prizes/sweepstakes/free gifts. A request for money to claim a made-up prize.
  3. Fake checks. Being sent a check and then being asked to transfer back a certain amount of cash.
  4. Recovery/refund companies. Demands to pay a fake debt.
  5. Advance fee loans/credit arrangers. Phony pledges to provide loans to those with poor credit when a fee is paid upfront.
  6. Computer equipment and software. Being solicited by phony tech support to fix made-up problems.
  7. Scholarships/grants. Being charged a fee for useless, generic lists provided by those promising a custom search.
  8. Phishing/spoofing. Trying to dupe consumers into providing information by pretending to be a trusted business.
  9. Friendship/sweetheart swindles. Using an online relationship to dupe a victim in paying money.
  10. Ad space/directory listings. Phony invoices sent to businesses for listings they supposedly ordered.

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