Briefs | 56-year-old woman falls for romance scam


A 56-year-old local woman lost nearly HKD200,000 to a love scam. At this stage, no one has been arrested, but investigation is ongoing, the Judiciary Police assured. In December 2018, the victim came across a male user on a social media platform. The user claimed that he worked in the chemical business. They got along well and communicated continuously and later became a couple. In January 2019, the suspect claimed that he needed money to go on a business trip to Thailand and wanted to borrow HKD200,000 from her. She eventually transferred HKD194,000 worth of Thai baht to the suspect. Later, when she spoke with her son, she was told that she might have been scammed.

Couple investigated for fake marriages

Hoping to receive money to repay gambling debts, a local couple masterminded two fake marriages with two mainland residents for remuneration of more than 100,000 patacas, according to the police. The police have three suspects in the case: Iong, who is in his 60s, and Chang and Zeng, both females in their 40s. Iong and Chang are a couple. Five years ago, in order to repay gambling debts, Chang married Xie, a mainland resident, to help Xie and Xie’s son obtain Macau residency. The Identification Bureau suspected an abnormality and requested a police investigation. During the investigation, the police also unearthed that Iong was in a fake marriage with Zeng, so that Zeng and her two children could get Macau residency. The trio have already received their Macau IDs.

Man loses 13 million patacas in romance scam

The police have identified two suspects believed to be connected to a romance scam three years ago in which a local man claimed to lose 13 million patacas. The two suspects in the case were recently arrested in an Areia Preta apartment but refused to cooperate, the Judiciary Police said. Three years ago, a female suspect told the victim over a mobile messaging app that she was willing to offer paid sex. The victim accepted the offer and “prepaid” her 5 million patacas in the form of gaming vouchers. Later, a man who claimed to be the “sex provider’s” manager, who is believed to be the male suspect, asked the victim for 7 million patacas in Bitcoin. Later, the male suspect asked the victim to give him HKD1.15 million in cash, which the suspect intended to use to buy Bitcoin. Eventually, the suspect was unable to buy Bitcoin and decided to leave the money at a police station, from which the victim was instructed to retrieve the money. That was when the police were alerted to the case.

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