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Phone Scammers Impersonating School Staff – Ordering Expensive Food with Dishonoured Cheques

Defrauding Tricks 

Recently, two eateries received phone calls purportedly made from school staff or teachers, claiming to order food in large quantity. The scammer then asked them to order expensive food (Buddha’s Temptation) from a specified supplier on behalf of the schools.

The eateries agreed to help because they did not want to lose the customer. To dismiss their suspicion, the scammer made transfer to the eateries’ bank accounts by dishonoured or invalid cheque through cheque deposit machine. The eateries noted an increase in the ledger balance of their bank accounts, so they set their mind at ease and called the fictitious supplier for ordering food, then remitted payments to the mainland personal bank account provided by the supplier through money changers. However, they did not realise that there was not change in the “available balance” which reflected actual proceeds credited to account.

Subsequently, the eateries concerned made enquiries with the banks and were told that the cheques were dishonoured. The scammers could no longer be reached as well. One of the eateries suffered a loss amounting to more than HK$300,000.


Our Advice

  • Do not be tempted by profits generated by high-amount businesses or advance payments;

  • When receiving payment by cheque, you should check if there is a rise in “available balance”. “Bank deposit slip” or increase in “ledger balance” do not indicate successful transfer;

  • If you receive calls purportedly from school staff or teachers, you can verify their identity by calling the school telephone number shown on the website of Education Bureau;

  • If in doubt, please call the “Anti-Scam Helpline 18222” for enquiries.