Faking accidents for extortion: mainlanders bring their art to Hong Kong
“Car crash crews” have come to Hong Kong! Con artists in China have long claimed to be car causalities to coerce their victims into coughing up compensation, but the criminals have now spread their craft to our city. Recently, two drivers in Kowloon City and Mong Kok each found themselves the target of these thieves, who faked being hit in order to demand compensation from the pair. One of the two coughed up HKD 200, while the other was not so lucky, and was both fined and penalized points on his license.
The first car accident fraud took place in Kowloon City at Tak Kwu Ling Road. The fraud victim, Mr. Chan, drove here and intended to park on the side of the road. The driver began to back up when a woman suddenly rushed out behind the vehicle. The driver was moving slowly and despite being hit, the woman remained standing when the car came to a complete stop.
Pair signed agreement for HKD 500 compensation
The driver got out of his vehicle to ask the woman if she needed police or medical assistance, upon which the woman complained in Mandarin that her leg hurt. The woman then made a phone call; two to three minutes later, six or seven men appeared to back up the “accident victim”. One of the men demanded that the driver leave his contact number and promised they’d be back for him later. The driver, catching on to the fraud, refused, upon which the gang demanded an immediate payment of HKD 200 in compensation. The driver accepted the amount, but demanded that the “victim” sign an agreement not to seek further claims in the future. The gang refused to sign unless the amount was raised to HKD 500. In the end, the police were called.
The police arrived and the driver explained that while he was willing to pay compensation, the “victim” refused to sign the agreement for the original amount. The “victim” also refused to seek hospital treatment when asked by the police. The police drew up an agreement for both parties to sign, but the gang repeated their demand for HKD 500 if a signature was required. The police believed that the gang wanted to use their presence to add pressure to the driver, and repeated their request to take the woman to hospital for examination, but the ambulance had already left. The men suddenly decided to leave, after which the woman whipped out her two-way permit and claimed that as a non-resident, a hospital visit would cost her HKD 3000. In the end, the two parties agreed on the original amount of HKD 200. The police advised the man to leave quickly to avoid retaliation.
Woman appeared after vehicle already reversing
In another fraud case, the “victim” chose to strike in Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok. A bit over a month ago, the driver, Mr. Lam, was reversing into a parking space when a woman suddenly appeared behind the vehicle and struck the end of his vehicle. Mr. Lam got out to investigate to find the woman lying on the ground, claiming to be hit. Before Mr. Lam could react, a man claiming to be the “victim’s” husband appeared at swore at Mr. Lam, demanding compensation. Mr. Lam, suspecting a ruse, refused to pay and told the pair to call the police.
The police arrived at the scene upon which the pair of con artists pulled out their two-way permits. The woman was sent to the hospital for inspection. After “investigation”, the police charged Mr. Lam with reckless driving and summoned him to court, where he ended up being fined and penalized points on his license.
Mr. Lam believes that the woman sought third-party compensation, as he was later charged an insurance excess, and his premium went up when he renewed his policy. Although Mr. Lam believes to be the victim of a scam, as there were no witnesses, and Mr. Lam did not install any cameras on his car, he has no choice but to accept his bad luck.
While it is impossible to verify the claims of the two drivers above, their stories are consistent with similar events which are widespread up north. A compilation of similar incidents is shown below: