Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

  • Phone Scams: Telephone scams are increasing in Hong Kong.  In the first half of 2020 alone, scammers tricked more than 500 people in Hong Kong into parting with 185 million Hong Kong dollars.  Some scammers pretend to be government officials and ask victims to provide their personal data and bank account details.
  • Romance Scams: Scammers create a fictional person on social media platforms and online dating websites.  After establishing trust, they make up false stories about needing money.
  • Financial Intermediaries Scams: Victims receive emails requesting bank account details.

If you think you have been targeted by a scam, you should:

  1. Never transfer any money to a suspicious person or organization.
  2. Contact all banks involved and request that they freeze and/or recall all payments and transactions.  Retain all documents, chat messages, and receipts.
  3. Contact the 24/7 Hong Kong Police Force Anti-Deception Coordination Centre hotline for further guidance (+852 18222).
  4. File a report with the Hong Kong Police Force at the nearest police station, or via their online portal.
  5. File a report with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center via their online portal.
  6. If you are in the United States, file a report with your local police department.

For more information on avoiding scams, please see the Department of Homeland Security’s website and the Internal Revenue Service’s website.