25th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) A group of four individuals, including three men and one woman, were sentenced to prison for their involvement in a fraudulent scheme where they stole credit card information from job applicants. The syndicate had posted job advertisements online for beauty therapists and, during the interview process, had stolen the personal information of their victims. They then used this information to make purchases using electronic payment platforms, resulting in over HK$350,000 worth of stolen goods.
Between 6th October, 2020, and 19th May, 2021, the group had posed as employers for several beauty salons in Hong Kong. During the interviews, the job applicants were asked to store their personal belongings, including their credit cards, in a locker while they were taken to another room for the interview process. The syndicate used this opportunity to steal the credit card information of 18 job applicants.
One of the members of the syndicate who worked at one of the beauty salons, passed the stolen credit card information to her accomplices. The group then used this information to purchase iPhones and gift cards through various electronic payment platforms.
The four individuals involved in the fraudulent scheme were convicted of a total of 32 charges, including theft and attempted theft. The judge noted that the crime was premeditated and that the perpetrators must be punished severely to deter others from committing similar crimes.
Despite the defendants’ pleas for leniency, the judge sentenced the group to prison terms ranging from 24 to 44 months. The ringleader of the group, who was involved in 29 of the charges, received the harshest sentence of 44 months. The other members of the group received prison terms of 24, 28, and 32 months.