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Police arrest 32 people, including 12 FDHs, in $9.1M online scam busts

30 October 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The 12 FDHs reportedly lent their ATMs to the scam syndicates

Police have arrested 32 persons, including 12 foreign domestic helpers, in a five-day operation to bust online scams in which victims lost a total of $9.1 million.

Reports say the FDHs were all bank account holders who lent their ATMs to online syndicates for money laundering, for which they were paid only a few hundreds or thousands of dollars.

A police spokesman confirmed the arrests to The SUN, and said two of the 12 non-local women are Filipinas, while the 10 others are Indonesians. But he said he could not confirm reports that they are FDHs.

The biggest loser in the scams was said to be a female investment manager aged around 30 years old, who reported losing up to $3 million to a “foreign pilot” in an online romance scam.

The local woman met her online boyfriend early this year, and they became a couple. Three months after they met, the man said he wanted to send the woman jewelry.

He or someone acting on his behalf, then pretended to be a staff member of a logistics company, and instructed the woman to transfer about $3 million to 21 bank accounts, saying they were for duties and transportation fees. 

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The report comes as more Filipina DHs have stepped forward to claim to have been defrauded of between $6,500 to more than $30,000 by the same man or group of men they met on online dating sites.

The women made the claim after The SUN reported of two earlier victims, one who lost $10,000 and the other, more than $30,000 to a man who used the same photos to befriend, then swindle them.

One of those who claimed to have fallen prey to the same South Asian-looking man who duped the first two victims, Sol and Viena, said she had given more than $30,000 to the fraudster before she came to her senses.


Jelai said she met the man through the dating site, HongKong Social. As in Sol’s case, the man reportedly presented himself as pious and a doting father to a young girl he wanted to bring to Hong Kong.

The man who even supplied a copy of his supposed HKID card, said he is an American businessman with permanent residency in Hong Kong. In both cases, he introduced another person who he said was an Immigration officer, to vouchsafe for his integrity.

Nakakalungkot kasi patuloy pa rin ang scam nila. Hindi kasi ako aware, akala ko totoong Kristiyano ang kausap ko. Animal (pala),” she said. (It’s sad because they are still at it.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Jelai said she just borrowed the money she lost in the scam, for which she still pays 10% interest monthly.

Another victim who introduced herself as Cristine, said she lost $6,500 to the same man in June this year.

In Cristine’s case, the bald man known as Dennise Philips to Sol and Tommy Rivera to Viena, had introduced himself to her as Samuel Gonzales.

Receipt for the $6,500 bitcoin transfer made by Cristine to the scammer

Luckily, after depositing the $6,500 to a bitcoin account on ‘Samuel’s’ instructions, Cristine realized she had been duped.

The Filipina, who has been in Hong Kong for just a year, said she was embarrassed to talk to anyone about her experience.


Despite being advised to go to the police to complain, Cristine said she’d rather forget about the sorry incident.“Na scam din ako ng parehong lalaki, pero iba na ang name na ginamit niya sa akin. Hindi ko na share sa mga kaibigan ko kasi nahihiya ako,” Cristine said in a message. (“I was scammed by the same guy, but he used a different name with me. I did not share my experience with my friends because I am embarrassed).

Same fake HKID card, different name, used to scam at least 4 Filipina DHs

Meanwhile, the police said that in the operation codenamed Spikewind which began last Sunday and ended Thursday, 21 online scams were busted, and 32 people, aged between 19 to 75 were arrested.

The cases involved online dating, fake compensated dating, email scams, fake job offers and even online shopping fraud, with the victims having lost a total of $9.1 million between January to August this year.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

Those arrested in the crackdown included five men and 15 women, apart from the 12 FDHs. They were arrested on suspicion of obtaining property by deception and theft, but were all released on bail.

Police said their investigation is still ongoing and did not rule out making more arrests.


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