A 34-year-old unemployed woman has been arrested Sunday for allegedly swindling a pedestrian out of over HK$12,000 outside the Mong Kok MTR station.

Police told HKFP that the woman, surnamed Kwok, was apprehended in a flat in Yau Ma Tei on suspicion of obtaining property by deception.

The area where the alleged offence took place. File Photo: Google Street View.

The victim – a 17-year-old student – said she was approached by the suspect outside the MTR entrance near Fife Street in Mong Kok last Friday.

Kwok told the student that she had just returned to Hong Kong from abroad and lost her wallet. She claimed she needed money to seek medical assistance and rent a hotel room, HK01 reported.

The student believed Kwok’s words and took out HK$12,360 from her bank account.

“The suspect claimed she would repay the amount as soon as possible, but of course the victim was unable to contact her afterwards,” a police investigator said.

Police alleged that the suspect took advantage of young people’s sympathy and may be involved in other similar cases.

Investigators said two university students aged 18 and 20 also reported giving HK$2,500 and HK$3,800 to a woman who claimed that she had lost her wallet and that her phone had run out of power.

Police investigators on the case.

Police described the suspect as being between 30 and 35 years old, 1.5 metres tall, slender and long-haired.

They advised the public not to lend money to strangers without verifying their identity and contact information. People with similar experiences are urged to report to the Mong Kok Police Station.

The offence of obtaining property by deception carries a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars under the Theft Ordinance.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.