The arrested included four men and three women aged from 18 to 36, including the 36-year-old mastermind. They were arrested after officers broke into a unit of Winner Building on Man Yue Street in Hung Hom this evening.
The syndicate has been operating for about two months, during which the suspects called victims claiming they could offer low-interest loans.
The investigation sprang from a victim's report, saying he received a call by someone who claimed to be a Bank of China staff on August 26 and offered low-interest loans.
The phone caller then passed the victim to another fraudster, who claimed to be the financial company's employee and proceeded with the loan application. The victim even met the fraudster in person in a cha chaan teng in Wan Chai later and signed a roughly drafted contract, in hope of securing a HK$300,000 loan.
At that time, the fraudster asked the victim to pay HK$28,000 in advance as a security deposit. The victim then transferred the sum, only to find that the financial company never received his application. He then called the police.
Following investigation, police found that members of the syndicate were assigned different roles.
Some pretended to be staffers of bank and law firms, while others adopted the roles of salespersons who met the victims in person. The syndicate even had a trainer who vetted scripts for the salespeople and trained them on how to answer victims' questions.
In the operation, officers seized 15 phones, five computers and a device used to play recorded voice messages to gain victims' trust. They also confiscated cash worth HK$150,000 and found the personal information of around 200 potential victims in a safe.
Police added that investigation is still ongoing and didn't rule out more arrests.
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