Police arrested four men and three women for allegedly obtaining property by deception after they used social media to lure victims into believing they could earn massive investment returns in only eight days.
Among the 53 victims, 52 were women who were told that they could receive HK$250,000 (US$31,856) in eight days by only investing HK$1,000 in an “investment plan” promoted by the scammers, Apple Daily reported.
The victims had to pay up to HK$10,000 in order to receive “investment tips.” In all, they lost HK$390,000 to the scammers.
According to police, 30% of the victims worked in clerical jobs, 15% were housewives and 10% were students. 80% of the victims were aged between 20 and 40.
Police began to carry out raids on the suspects from last Tuesday and arrested the seven people in Kowloon City, Sha Tin, Kwai Ching and Tai Po in the New Territories.
It is understood that the scammers posted promotional messages on Facebook groups targeting women, claiming that they could give them access to lucrative investment tips.
Once the victims paid the membership fee, they only ever received soccer betting tips, and when victims tried to follow up on their investment plans, they got no reply from the scammers.
On Sunday at the Kwun Tong apartment of a 31-year-old female suspect, police officers confiscated a computer, mobile phone, telephone SIM cards, ATM cards and bank documents.