Hong Kong officials are warning citizens about an uptick in a unique flavor of scam — feng shui investors.
In recent months, Hong Kongers have seen an increase in frequency of these scams, in which thieves claiming to be feng shui masters promise to help gullible citizens invest in supernaturally profitable stocks. Police confirmed that 185 citizens had already lost over 100 million HKD (nearly $13 million) in as little as a week.
In response, officers posted a second warning on their CyberDefender Facebook page, just a week after a similar warning had already gone out.
“There are many posts on social media platforms that promote the use of feng shui in selecting stocks,” the post read.
“They claim that by joining these WhatsApp groups, you will receive exclusive tips from feng shui masters and investment experts, guiding you to avoid market downturns.”
Unfortunately, the victims instead received a downturn to their personal finances, after investing money and subsequently realizing there was so no way to withdraw it.
It’s far from the first time feng shui scammers have targeted vulnerable people — just two weeks ago, a scammer posing as an assistant to a local feng shui master convinced a 37-year-old professional to fork over nearly 4 million HKD (over $500,000).
In a similar incident earlier this year, feng shui master Bruce Lee Chun-pong coaxed a couple to hand over valuable items including jewelry, gold, and a Rolex watch for a blessing ritual. The items, however, were never returned to their owners as promised, and were instead used by Lee to buy a Bentley, a van, and a motorcycle.
Ultimately, the feng shui master was taken to court by the couple on fraud charges.
Given the increase in frequency of these crimes, police are warning Hong Kong citizens not to dole out money to suspicious individuals claiming to be feng shui masters.
Images via Unsplash, Wikimedia Commons
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