20th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong authorities have uncovered a devious scam that preyed on unsuspecting buyers under the pretence of a dog meat sale. The fraudsters employed a crafty tactic, luring potential buyers into downloading a counterfeit shopping mobile app and subsequently tricking them into divulging their internet banking credentials.
The investigation was launched after authorities stumbled upon online advertisements promoting the sale of dog meat during a routine internet check. Prompted by these alarming findings, the police promptly initiated a thorough probe into the matter.
According to law enforcement officials, the scammers, masquerading as sellers, would coax “potential buyers” into downloading a mobile app to complete their orders. The app would then request access to specific features on the users’ smartphones. Subsequently, users would be prompted to enter their banking credentials on a fabricated internet banking login screen, supposedly to facilitate the transfer of the shopping fee. However, unbeknownst to the victims, the fraudsters would gain unauthorized access to their bank accounts and promptly siphon off all their hard-earned savings.
Reports indicate that the police have received over ten reports related to this fraudulent app since September, involving a staggering total sum of HK$1.14 million.
The investigation is currently underway, with the police collaborating closely with the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) to ascertain whether additional criminal activities were carried out, as outlined by a police spokesperson. The AFCD, upon discovering a Facebook page advertising the banned sale of dog meat at approximately HK$300, is conducting its own investigation into alleged dog meat sales in the city.
The AFCD’s scrutiny was triggered by a Facebook post last Friday (17th November) in which the online shop advertised dog meat for sale at HK$328 for two catties, with an additional catty costing an extra HK$150.
The Facebook page asserted that the dog meat was imported from mainland China and offered a “cash on delivery” option.