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Man arrested for email scam related offences

     Police today (January 15) cracked down on email scams following the arrest of a 46-year-old foreign man for using a false instrument.

     Officers of Commercial Crime Bureau, after investigations into intelligence, found that the 46-year-old foreign man arrived in Hong Kong on January 13 and he was believed to have used false documents to set up companies and open bank accounts in Hong Kong to collect crime proceeds of email scams.

     The man was arrested in Sheung Wan today and a batch of suspected false documents were seized in his possession. He is being detained for further enquiries.

     Police figures revealed an upward trend of business email scams in Hong Kong. From January to November last year, there were a total of 381 reported cases of email scams, rising three folds from 2011, with a total loss of $160 million.

     A popular modus operandi of commercial email scams was that fraudsters send out fictitious emails to victims by pretending to be their business partner who has lately changed bank account. Many victims fell prey to this scam and deposited money into fraudstersíŽ accounts without verifying with their business partner by phone or other means.

     Police have set up a taskforce to tackle business email scams and call on the business sector to be alert of suspicious emails and raise their awareness in preventing the aforementioned scam, such as taking the initiative to confirm the true identities of recipients by telephone, facsimile or other means before remittances; and report suspicious cases to the Police. In addition, accounting and secretarial firms have to be vigilant when setting up companies or opening bank accounts for suspicious clients, so as to avoid being used for money laundering.

Police Report No.321

Ends/Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:57


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