People have been told to watch out for suspicious calls about organ donations, a new type of phone scam that has been reported in the wake of two serious medical incidents which happened last month.

Suspicious callers have been posing as the Hospital Authority, requesting for personal information about organ donations.

A spokesperson for the Hospital Authority told HKFP they have received a number of enquiries from the public about the calls. He said that the Authority never arranges phone interviews about organ donations and he warned people to be wary of such phone scams.

The Hospital Authority building
The Hospital Authority building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In August, two patients at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam received organ donations from a deceased stroke patient who was found to have cancer. The liver transplant to one patient was interrupted midway, while the heart transplant in the other patient was completed. The liver transplant patient has since received a new liver and the heart transplant patient is under close observation.

The fake organ donation calls have been reported to the police and the Authority are providing assistance to facilitate the police’s investigation into the matter.

Since the beginning of this month, the police have been distributing text messages warning users about ongoing phone scams.

Between January and July this year, police figures revealed that there were 2,371 phone deception cases which resulted in a total loss of $175.7 million. This is a 70 percent surge from the 1,395 cases reported in the same period last year.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.