Legislator Cheung Wah-fung, who represents the financial services sector in the Legislative Council, has said he was cheated of HK$90,000 by a swindler impersonating his property tycoon friend Wong Cho-bau, according to Sing Tao Daily and Apple Daily.

Legislator Cheung Wah-fung. Photo: cheungwahfung.com.

The fake Wong Cho-bau told Cheung to bail him out after he “got arrested in a Shenzhen karaoke club” last week. Cheung wired the money to the impersonator as he was asked to do, before realising he had been scammed when the man asked for money a second time. Cheung called Wong’s secretary and found out that the East Pacific (Holdings) Limited chairman was playing golf in Hainan Island.

Cheung told Sing Tao Daily the fraudster “sounded a lot like Wong” and called him by his nickname. The lawmaker also let his guard down because the swindler had called him a day before from Wong’s phone number, which suggests that Wong’s phone may have been tampered with, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Property tycoon Wong Cho-bau.

However, instead of calling the police, Cheung reported the case to Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Apple Daily said. When questioned by the newspaper, Cheung said he would call the police later but did not think they could help. The liaison office has a department which helps Hongkongers who fall victim to mainland scams, the legislator said.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.