A netizen who asked for donations on Facebook for a firefighter who died on Tuesday has been criticised for being a potential scammer. A person claiming to be the deceased’s cousin said that those who were using the incident to cheat people at this time should “move away.”

A fourth-alarm fire occurred at a mini-storage at Kowloon Bay on Tuesday and continued into Wednesday. Thomas Cheung, a 30-year-old senior station officer, died at the scene after being found unconscious inside the Amoycan Industrial Centre on Tuesday evening. The government has vowed that it will inspect all mini-storages after the fire claimed a life.

A possible donation scam.

The netizen posted in a Facebook group saying that he “only wanted to ask the kind people here if [they] could donate money.” In the post, he said that he knew the family and would hand the money to them.

He then provided an account and asked people to spread the word.

The fire. Photo: SocRec.

However, he mistook one of the Chinese characters of the deceased firefighter’s name for another in his post. The two characters are pronounced the same in Cantonese. Someone claiming to be the firefighter’s cousin commented saying “you are scamming… what’s your problem?” She also said that “if you want to donate, I can give you the family’s account.”

According to Apple Daily, the post was later deleted and the poster said “I hope everybody will forgive me.”

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.