Nearly 40 Hongkongers were conned out of a total of HK$12 million (US$1.5 million) in fraudulent low-interest loans, according to a member of the Democratic Party.
Consumer rights advocate of the party Ramon Yuen Hoi-man revealed 38 people had approached him for help since July, with the victims saying they had fallen prey to fraudsters posing as representatives for financial institutions offering low-interest loans.
“Police should take more stringent actions against scammers,” he said, adding that financial losses for victims had ranged from HK$7,000 (US$900) to HK$7 million.
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Yuen said most victims had been contacted by callers claiming to represent banks or financial companies and inviting them to open accounts by offering low-interest loans and investments relating to leveraged loans.
Scammers also claimed to offer financial returns five to 10 times on original investments.
One victim, who ended up losing more than HK$600,000, said she was contacted and urged by a fraudster to join a leveraged loan scheme by transferring her money to an account as an investment.