53-year-old man falls victim to two online scams in ten months, loses HK$390,000, leaves suicide note and dies by carbon monoxide poisoning

Fu Lai House

16th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) A 53-year-old man whose life had been marred by successive internet frauds, took his own life after being swindled out of approximately HK$390,000 over ten months. Found deceased in his flat at Fu Lai House, Fu Shan Estate in Wong Tai Sin, the man left behind a note revealing the depths of his despair caused by insurmountable debts and the deceit he suffered online.

The case came to light on the afternoon of 15th April when a security guard alerted the authorities about a suspicious odour and liquid seeping from the man’s apartment. Upon arrival, police and emergency services discovered the man, surnamed Sin, lifeless beside a pan of burnt charcoal, a method often associated with suicide in the region. According to the police, there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

The tragic sequence began in June of the previous year when Mr. Sin encountered fraudsters on Telegram, a messaging platform. He was enticed by an offer to make quick money by writing film reviews online. This scheme led to him being duped out of HK$210,000. The pattern of deception repeated in March, when Mr. Sin fell prey to another scam via Facebook, where he thought he was paying for a dating service. This scam involved purchasing 28 iTunes Gift Cards and transferring nearly HK$70,000 into two bank accounts, ultimately costing him an additional HK$180,000.

The cumulative financial burden and emotional toll were too much for Mr. Sin, leading to his tragic decision. His suicide note expressed an overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair, driven by the inability to repay the hefty sums he owed and the betrayal he felt at the hands of the scammers.

If you have suicidal tendencies or depression, please call the 24-hour multi-lingual hotline at The Samaritans Hong Kong : 28960000.