Binance users in Hong Kong lose $450K in wave of fraud texts: HK police

October 12, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Hong Kong police have issued a warning to Binance users after 11 Hong Kong residents fell victim to a phishing scam, resulting in a total loss of over $446,000 (3.5 million Hong Kong dollars) in just two weeks.

Here’s what we know:

The phishing operation saw fraudsters sending out texts, masquerading as Binance, urging users to click on a link to verify their identity before an impending deadline, with the threat of account deactivation. Upon clicking and entering personal details, these unsuspecting users found their Binance accounts compromised and their wallets emptied.

In a recent Facebook post titled “CyberDefender”, the police advised users to report suspicious messages through the “fraud prevention” section on the official police website. This alert comes amidst a rise in fraudulent activities targeting crypto investors in Hong Kong. 

In another event, the JPEX crypto exchange scandal recently emerged, leading to a staggering loss of approximately $180 million, with over 2,300 local investors lodging complaints. The unlicensed JPEX crypto exchange enticed users with alluring advertising and promising high returns. However, by September 15th, the platform dramatically increased withdrawal fees, making user funds unreachable.

In response to the rising crypto-related frauds, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) revealed a list of vetted virtual asset trading platforms. Notably, only two exchanges, HashKey and OSL, have the required license for retail investment in Hong Kong.

To boost online security awareness, the Hong Kong Police Force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau introduced the “CyberDefender” initiative earlier this year. The recent scams underscore users’ need to remain vigilant and validate the sources before acting on digital requests or offers.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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