Don’t trust the scammers
People tend to fall victim to fraud out of ‘trust’:
- Trusting that the scammers will bring them considerable investment returns.
- Trusting that the scammers are genuinely concerned for them.
- Trusting that the scammers have their interests at heart.
- Trusting that the scammers are legitimate.
- Trusting that the scammers will resolve their problems, or that of their relatives and friends, for them.
- Trusting that the scammers are in difficulty and need their help.
We may end up paying a price for trusting the wrong person. This is because a scammer plays on the victim’s emotions to cheat them of their money. Deception is a scammer’s strong suit, so keep this in mind. Do not trust people so easily, especially when it comes to your money!
Where are the fraudsters?
Tips for fraud prevention
- Check and verify
As the saying goes, “three things can’t be hidden forever: the sun, the moon and the truth”. Accordingly, some careful checking should be enough to reveal tell-tale signs of almost any scam. For example, fraudsters might impersonate someone you trust to scam you. Don’t send money or give out personal information if you receive the request from a phone call, emails or social media messages. Take steps to find out what happened and verify the identity of the caller or sender.
- Tell someone whom you are familiar with and can trust
Whether it is an investment scam or romance scam, victims can easily be blinded by the fraudster’s words and promises. Always seek help from someone you trust if you are puzzled by issues related to money or personal information, as an outsider may offer a new perspective. Fraudsters may want you to ‘act fast’, but this is only a trick. Don’t panic, don’t be hasty, and seek help from a trustworthy source.
Protect your passwords
Your password is a key piece of information for identity verification. Fraudsters and hackers may try to obtain passwords for your bank, investment and/or social media accounts by any means possible. Be sure to keep your passwords in a safe place to prevent your accounts from being hacked.
Don’t be greedy
'Get rich quick’ schemes with guaranteed returns and low risk are among the favourite recipes for investment scams. However, there is no such thing as a ‘can’t lose’ investment schemes with high returns. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Partners in Fraud Prevention
- Hong Kong Police’s Anti-Deception Coordination Centre (ADCC)
- The Alert List from the Securities and Futures Commission
- Fraudulent Bank Websites, Phishing E-mails and Similar Scams from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority
- The Chin Family’s golden rules for choosing intermediaries – an introduction of the public registers of each financial regulator which allows you to verify the identity of your intermediaries.
22 Nov 2018