Two job seekers complained to police that a total of HK$110,000 (US$14,030) had been transferred from their bank accounts without authorization, suspecting that thieves had defrauded them by means of a new instant funds-transfer service launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) after they had sent personal information for jobs posted online.
Police confirmed that a 26-year-old woman reported to Wong Tai Sin Police Station on October 10 that she had sent her identity-card photo and bank-account number to a WhatsApp message when applying for a job. She later found that HK$12,000 had been illicitly transferred in two transactions to a mobile wallet, using the Faster Payment System (FPS), Sing Tao Daily reported.
FPS, launched by the HKMA last month, enables users to make instant money transfers across different banks and stored value facility (SVF) operators with the use of the mobile-phone number or e-mail address of the payee.
On October 11, another woman, a 24-year-old job seeker, reported to the Kwun Tong Police Station that without her authorization, a total of HK$97,000 had been stolen from her bank account, Apple Daily reported.
The woman had sent her ID-card photo and Hang Seng Bank account number to apply for a job posted on a WhatsApp group.
She checked with the bank and was told that the money had been transferred to an AlipayHK account in 18 transactions, using FPS. However, the victim claimed that she had not registered any AlipayHK or FPS service.
The HKMA said it had immediately suspended the electronic direct debit authorization (eDDA) service of FPS, which allows the user to top up e-wallets directly from a bank account.
Police classified the case as obtaining property by deception and have been tracing the lost money. So far, no one has been arrested.