Boy (13) arrested in $50 000 internet scam

2012-02-21 10:26
Hong Kong – A 13-year-old schoolboy was among 15 people arrested in Hong Kong over a bogus internet auction site that allegedly conned buyers out of nearly $50 000.

The group was accused of running the site offering items ranging from iPhones to luxury handbags and diamonds but failing to deliver the goods after buyers paid up.

A police spokesperson said the schoolboy allegedly offered an iPhone for the equivalent of $515 (about R4 000) and used his parents’ bank account to collect the payment. He was accused of using the money to buy clothes and a laptop computer.

Two of the arrested suspects were under 18. The second was a 16-year-old girl accused of cheating online buyers out of more than $600 by offering two luxury handbags.

Children older than 10 can be held criminally responsible in Hong Kong and can face trial in an adult court from 16.

The suspects allegedly cut off all communication with buyers after payments were made, the spokesperson said.

All the suspects arrested Monday were friends or related to each other, and the oldest was 45.

At least 30 people fell victim to the bogus auction site with total losses equivalent to $47 700, police said.