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$44 000 fraud

Antoinette Connell

$44 000 fraud

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Operators of a local distribution business say they have fallen prey to hackers who scammed them into wiring more than $44 000 to a reputable bank in Hong Kong.

When the traders discovered the fraud two days later, they raced to stop the transaction which normally takes at least two days to complete.

But two weeks later, the couple, who run the business which supplies food and dry goods to minimarts and shops, still have no word from any of the connected banks on whether the money reached the scammers’ account. The man and woman, who did not want to be identified, said they contacted their local bankers at the RBC Royal Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy, JP Morgan Chase Bank in the United States, HSBC and the police in Hong Kong, amassing hundreds of dollars in phone bills.

“Two weeks now and we are anxiously waiting . . . This is how you treat your customers – two weeks and they can’t say if we lose our money or not . . . These are banks with links and connection, they should be able to get back to us. Even if we lose our money, we need to know so that we can continue our lives,” the woman said.

They wired US$22 665.24 after someone, acting as their supplier in China, contacted them via emails and telephone calls saying the bank account had changed numbers.