Five people linked to two separate fraud cases involving more than HK$2.4 million have been arrested, Hong Kong police say.
Two men and a woman, all from mainland China, were arrested on Friday on suspicion of impersonating bank agents and tricking their victims into thinking their home equity loans were illegal or in breach of contract.
“Because the scammers were able to provide very accurate information and had renovated their office to look like a lawyer’s office, they were able to earn their victims’ trust,” Tai Cheuk-yin from the Yau Tsim district crime squad said on Sunday.
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They convinced victims to borrow large sums through an intermediary agency and told them to deposit the money in a separate bank account after the loans were approved. The scammers then transferred the money to another account, he said.
The three were core members of the scam ring and some had links to triads, police said. Officers were able to retrieve a HK$1.57 million (US$201,282) deposit made by one of the victims.
Tai said they would not rule out asking the court for a heavier sentence, as well as to freeze and confiscate the suspects’ assets.
In a separate case, officers at Sau Mau Ping Police Station also said they had arrested a man, 29, and a woman, 25, after they scammed convenience stores out of 93 stored value cards worth HK$10,000.
Inspector Chu Siu-lun of the Sau Mau Ping district investigation team said the two suspects had used invalid credit cards to buy new stored value cards. When shopkeepers realised the credit cards were invalid, they would return expired stored value cards they had swapped.
“We are still looking at where they may have got all these old stored value cards from,” Chu said.
Chief Inspector Ma Ling-ho said the pair had been active between August and September, and they were likely to be involved in a wider scam ring.
Official statistics showed the police’s anti-fraud unit had stopped HK$1.88 billion of swindled money in the first half of this year.
This article Hong Kong police arrest five in two separate fraud cases involving HK$2.4 million first appeared on South China Morning Post