Scams involving money have been widely reported, and one such investment scam works like this (write up taken from Seedly): upon gaining the trust of their victims, the scammers would encourage their victims to buy specific shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, promising them guaranteed profits.
Should the scammers convince enough victims to buy the mentioned shares, the price of the share increases. The scammers, then, sell their portion of shares and disappear with their profits. This sell-off lead to a dip in share price, higher than the price of which the victim invested.
While Mr Budget counts himself as a relatively smart person, I never thought I will be a target of one such scam.
So earlier 2 weeks ago, Mr Budget received a friend request on WeChat from a female contact.
Before this, Mr Budget has a friend who told me that he is in a conversation with someone on WeChat which he identified as a scammer. The “scammer”, would have added him “accidentally” and introduced herself as a stock analyst from Hong Kong.
Throughout his conversation with the scammer, the “stock analyst” would drop a few counter recommendations to my friend, with the promise that those counters will increase in price.
So far, all the stock recommended have all risen in price and have never been wrong. So that intrigued my friend to continue chatting with her to get more “insights”. He is still talking to her until today, and the “stock analyst” has been very patient in engaging with small talks with my friend.
My friend has never made any trades / taken any positions on the stocks recommended so far.
So back to Mr Budget – the day finally arrived when I received a friend request. When the request came, I knew immediately that this could be one of the scammers.
The scammer, added me saying that she added accidentally from her suggested contact list, and proceeded to introduce herself as a stock analyst after some small talks.
To keep my suspicion low, the first few days of chatting involve getting to know me, talking about the weather and other basic conversational topics. I tried to ask her more on Hong Kong’s riot and politics (since she said she’s a stock analyst of HSBC), but she quickly deflected the question. The is probably a sign that this topic is not part of their “playbook” and she wouldn’t know how to answer me.
On the third day of chatting, she suddenly told me that her client made a neat 20% profit on a stock counter – HKEX 3313
Of course, that piqued my interest and I told her that I would have missed the boat and won’t be looking at the counter. She said that the counter will continue to go up another 10%, and it did.
However, I replied that the price doesn’t make sense for me, and she introduced another counter – HKEX 0826.
So I went to take a look at the finances of the company. Tiangong is a relatively large cap company dealing with high speed rail in china, with decent historical financial performance.
In my mind, the scammer will need to make sure that I make a small profit, thereby gaining my trust, before “scamming” me. Since the company’s financials roughly checked out, and it is in the interest of the scammer to ensure that I make a profit, I took a small position on the counter.
Surely enough, the next day, the counter went up by 2-3%.
The scammer also asked me to enter the position at a particular odd lot, so that she can track if I really did enter the said position. She also required me to screenshot my position, which made me even sure that this is 100% a potential scam.
After the next day, she asked me to offload the position, and after minusing the fees, I made a quick 2-3% in gain.
And then she dropped the bomb.
After seeing that I made a profit on the counter I bought, she asked me to prepare S$100,000 to invest in a new counter, which she said will go up by at least 30%.
However, she will only reveal the counter to me the next day at 2pm.
To this, I told her, I do not make investments like this. I would have to look at the counter, study its financials, understand the business roughly, before taking any positions. I told her any investment without looking at the company is gambling.
And she became slightly agitated, saying that this is not gambling, and that the risks are properly managed.
In my mind, I went “what the hell is this justification?”. At that point I realised that she kept asking if I have the money, and if I can make the trade at 2pm, all without telling me the counter.
So I started ignoring her texts and then she stopped texting me.
For those who were scammed, I’d think there are many tale-tell signs that reveal if you are under a scam or not. If something is too good to be true, it is probably too good to be true.
Overall, a very interesting experience, and I manage to make a couple of hundred bucks in just 1 day.
Do you have any similar experiences? Do let us know. 🙂
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5 thoughts on “I Was A Target Of An WeChat Investment Scam, But Made Some Money Off It!”
Their strategy is simple: tell one person counter X will go up, the other person counter Y, the other person counter Z. Then stop contact with people where the counter did not go up and pursue the ones where they guessed correctly. Some even do this with a large group of people and they take 2-3 bets in a row. For a small group of people it then seems like they are investment gurus, before they scam you.
You were just lucky the stock went up. Be careful! The strategy is not to buy the first stock the scammer recommends.
Yes that’s absolutely right. The counter I took up was a relatively small position and was a calculated risk that I made, and it’s nothing more than a gamble. But I dont think there will be another such scammer reaching out to us anymore. 🙂
I’m currently talking to one such very obviously potential scammer. Apparently she’s just left goldman sachs a for Avery small investment of 20k USD she will help me realise all my financial dreams! How wonderful 🤣. I’m continuing the interaction as long as possible to get as much info as I can before I report it.
recently I was sent a friend request by a woman claiming to live in hong kong as well. She said she invests in foreign currency and has made a lot of money etc…after a while of small talk during the week she asked me how much money have have to invest and that she has inside information…etc…she had me open a demo account on MT4….I will shut her down soon…but just amusing how far they go and how much theyve ripped people off….
Currently chatting to a very rich 30 yo lady in Singapore on WeChat. She messaged me thinking I was someone she met while touring the Great wall in China some time ago. I have never been there. She told me her name was Fanny and she makes her money on foreign exchange. After a few days of idle chit chat and showing me her expensive house in Singapore as well as her impressive car collection, which included a Ferrari and other sports cars, she wanted to be called Stephanie. Then she tells me her friend was in the travel industry and went bankrupt because of covid-19, so she helped her friend make some sideline money by teaching her about forex trading. Her friend made so much money that her friend just gave her a house as a token of her gratitude. Now she wants to teach me about forex trading because she’s set up a charity school in the mountains of China and wants me to donate 10% of my forex profit to help the school. So I said that’s good what do I need to do,….