First published: 16th January 2013
A man has been jailed for 28 months by a Hong Kong District Court for conspiracy to launder money as part of a lottery scam. During 2010 and 2011, the man received about HK$1.8 million in "handling fees" from 26 overseas victims who had been fooled by phones calls into believing they had won lotteries. The man withdrew the money and passed it to an unknown man, receiving up to $500 each time.
Yui Kee's Chief Consultant Allan Dyer commented, "Most email users will be familiar with the online variant of this scam, when they receive 'winning notifications' of lotteries they never entered, though it is worth remembering that the trick is more likely to succeed if the victim has entered a similar-sounding lottery recently. The scam depends on greed of the victim, who pays the 'handling fee' to get the non-existent prize, and the greed of the mule, who the Police can quickly find, that allows the mastermind to get away unidentified with the cash."