Beware of online scams

Anti deception
Social media

While browsing the web, you should bear in mind that scammers are around too. They may try to contact you through email or social media. They have lots of tricks, so beware. And follow our tips to improve your security online.

Social Media Cons

Scammers get information about you from your social media accounts such as instant messaging apps. Having got your login name and password they pretend to be you, to try and cheat your friends and contacts out of money.

Email Scams

New tricks to be aware:
  • Scammers know your transactions with some companies from stolen emails. They then pretend to be from the company and send you fictitious emails to ask for money.
  • Hacking into your account and sending emails to your family and friends to ask for money.
  • Pretending to be the senior management of a company, the scammer sends fictitious emails to the staff and asking them to transfer money to designated bank accounts citing reasons such as trading with overseas business partners or making business investments.

Advance Fee Fraud

Scammers can get in touch through social media. After gaining your trust they trick you into paying fake service fees. They may also claim you have won the lottery, but to get the money you have to first pay handling fees. After you have done so, they disappear.

Scammers can also get hold of you by telephone, or in an email, and trick you into paying fake service or handling fees.

Online Business Fraud

These scams usually involve online shopping sites. The conman pretends to be a customer and the seller delivers the goods but does not receive payment. These cases often involve false payment. For example, a fake foreign bank’s email is received to confirm payment, or a bad cheque is received by the seller.

In another scam, it’s the seller who is the con. After the buyer pays for goods (in an online auction, for example), the seller does not deliver the goods and the buyer can’t get back the money.

Cyber Security Tips

To safely surf the internet, you must pay close attention to emails, protect your password, and make sure your system is secure. You should also follow the safety guidelines on public wifi networks.

IF you think you have been tricked, report to the Police immediately.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has pages “Demystify phishing emails” and “Fraudulent bank websites, phishing e-mails and similar scams” to educate consumers the common characteristics of phishing emails and how to handle suspicious emails, and update the latest email scams.  

The video footage in this section comes from Fight Scams Together. This is provided by the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre (ADCC) of Hong Kong Police Force to prevent fraud. Go to the website for the latest scam information.

ADCC - Fight Scams Together