scam rare bottle of whiskey

Unusual: Man swindled out of rare bottle of whiskey valued at $9,500

A worker in Tin Hau, Hong Kong, was swindled out of $15,000 and a rare bottle of whiskey made in Japan, according to The Drinks Business.

A 41-year-old man tried to sell a bottle of Karuizawa 1983 Japanese whiskey at Singapore’s Carousell Market but ran into a scammer posing as a buyer.

After striking a deal of HK$75,000 (US$9,555) for what was claimed to be a rare bottle of whiskey, the scammer told the seller that he had made a deposit of the same amount into his bank account. Upon meeting the “buyer” to deliver the whiskey, another transaction was arranged at Admiralty MTR station, where the victim was swindled out of both cash and booze.

Hong Kong police reported that after the transaction, the scammer said that a check for HK$115,000 (US$14,659) had been deposited into his account by mistake. He then asked the victim to transfer the money to a specific bank account.

After the victim adhered to the scammer’s request and transferred the money to the designated bank account through two transactions, he realized he had been scammed when the checks bounced.

Police reported that the scammer was in his 20s and 30s. The case has been listed as “obtaining property by deception,” a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.


Rare bottle of whiskey: recurring scams

The whiskey industry is booming, which has led to a massive increase in scams involving what they would call a “rare” bottle of whiskey.

Counterfeiters snap up empty bottles of premium brands for up to $380 and refill them with cheap booze and resell them for “upwards of $2,000,” Hollywood writer and producer Adam Herz told Inside Edition in May.

Part of the problem is the culture I see around bourbon, where it’s all about bragging about a bottle you just bought on Instagram,” Herz, an avid whiskey collector, told the New York Times. “Most people I see who end up with fakes are partly to blame. Any good scammer knows how to take advantage of someone’s greed.”

More recently whiskey brokerage companies have warned the public to be extra vigilant about scams when it comes to a rare bottle of whiskey on sale. You are never 100% safe when trading whiskey, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself and have a statistical advantage against scams, warns The Whiskey Wash.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

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