Close Menu

Con artist swindles HK$115,000 and a whisky bottle worth HK$75,000

A con artist swindled a Hong Kong man out of HK$115,000 and a bottle of Japanese whisky worth HK$75,000, according to local police.

The situation reportedly saw a 41-year-old man, living in Tin Hau, needing to make a report of deception to police. The man, who was a clerical worker, was allegedly targeted after he tried to sell the bottle of Karuizawa 1983 whisky via the internet shopping platform Carousell.

There, he met the swindler, who was posing as a buyer, and communicated with him through WhatsApp before they reached a deal to buy the whisky at HK$75,000. He was then told a cheque deposit of HK$75,000 had been made to his bank account.

A transaction was then, according to sources, arranged at Admiralty MTR station last week where the bottle of whisky was handed over to the buyer.

According to the Hong Kong police: “The scammer behind the con later contacted the victim who was told a cheque deposit of HK$115,000 was made into his account by mistake and asked to transfer the money to a specific bank account”.

It was reported that the victim did what he was told and transferred HK$115,000 in two transactions into the designated bank account but soon realised he had been scammed when the two cheques bounced, the force revealed.

Police divulged that the fraudster, who showed up at the Admiralty MTR station to pick up the bottle of whisky, was between 20 and 30 years old and are now classing the case as “obtaining property by deception”– an offence punishable by up to 10 years in jail under the Theft Ordinance.

Detectives from the Eastern criminal investigation unit are handling the case, however, no arrests have been made so far.

Police officers have advised sellers to check the “available balance” of their bank accounts through internet banking services to verify the transaction status for deals such as this and reiterated how a common tactic used in online shopping frauds in the city often saw swindlers deposit a non-cashable cheque into a seller’s account and use the cash deposit slip to create a false impression that a payment has been made.

The police advised on its website: “When selling goods, do not just rely on deposit slips as proof of completed payments”.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No