Beware of theme park/hotel package scams

Online shopping
Online scams

Author: Mrs Chin04/08/2022

According to the Hong Kong Police, the number of deception cases rose to 12,326 in the first half of 2022, over 70% of which were internet-related, and the rise was mainly driven by the upsurge in online shopping, recruitment and investment fraud cases as well as telephone deception.

Recently, some people fell into theme park and hotel package scams. We all want to have some good times with families and friends in summer holidays, theme parks and staycations are one of the hottest family destinations. However, we should also stay alert for scammers who are constantly hunting for prey.  

Recently, some people tried to buy cheaper theme park tickets and staycation packages online from a fraudster who claimed to be a relative of the theme park’s senior staff. The scammer completed a few transactions with some buyers to win trust, and then tricked other victims into making payments before disappearing.

You should have the following online shopping tips in mind to protect yourselves from scams and stay vigilant.


1. Buy from official channels or authorised distributors

We all love bargains, but they are often too good to be true. Therefore, you should always think twice when coming across these seemingly great offers. Greediness may come at a high price or even ruin your holiday plans.

2. Check the credibility of online sellers instead of trusting in comments blindly

The number of “likes” does not guarantee a vendor’s credibility. Be sceptical of other customers’ positive comments as they may be posted by the scammer. You should review the comments and even check on the commenters’ backgrounds carefully. Stay alert if most commenters are foreigners. You may also cross-check the positive and negative comments on other online forums.

3. Do a final check before paying

You may do some online research using the seller’s contact numbers, bank account numbers, or social media page names before making payments, and pay special attention to any negative comments. You may also verify the identity of the seller through official channels. 

4. Collect and examine your order in person

You may collect your order in person at crowded and safe public locations, and check the products with the seller. You should also pay attention to the seller’s features and outfit, and keep your receipt so that you can share these important details with the police if it turns out to be a scam. If the seller refuses to meet face to face or provide a receipt, there is probably something fishy about it.