Please, people, have that talk with your matriarchs, patriarchs and other elderly relatives and friends!
In the latest example of just how cruel people can be, some fraudsters have coaxed a 90-year-old Hong Kong woman out of $32 million by posing as Chinese officials, police said.
It is reported to be the city’s biggest recorded phone scam.
The elderly – often eager to speak with, well, just about anyone – are frequently victims, worldwide, of such scams.
Police said these particular scammers aimed their evil at an elderly woman living in a mansion in a very toney Hong Kong neighborhood.
The woman was told she needed to transfer money from her bank account into those held by the investigation team for safekeeping and scrutiny, the South China Morning Post reported.
And then, according to police, someone came to her home and talked with (fake) security agents.
This went on for more than five months, during which time the woman unloaded the $32 million, the largest amount via phone con.
The woman’s domestic helper felt something was not right, according to police, and told the woman’s daughter.
The woman contacted police March 2 and said she’d made 10 payments, according to a police statement sent to CNN on Wednesday.
Police arrested a 19-year-old man March 25. He was been released on bail and is scheduled to report to police in late April, according to the statement.
Police say such scams are on the rise.
According to a CNN story:
“In October 2020, a 65-year-old woman paid $8.9 million to people who, she said, accused her of being involved in money laundering in mainland China, the South China Morning Post reported. …
“In January 2019, an 85-year-old man lost more than $73.9 million in a gold scam that took a total of $80 million from seven victims.”