Hong Kong Police Issues Alert About Text Message Phishing Scam Drained 446,000 From Binance Users

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The Hong Kong Police Force has raised awareness after 11 Binance customers fell victim to text message phishing scams. According to a Facebook post by CyberDefender, under the state’s police, fraudsters posed as Binance and sent malicious messages to users. 

Due to the seeming authenticity of the source, the bad actors successfully fleeced users of their assets.

CyberDefender Alerts Hong Kong Users Of Fraudulent Messages

CyberDefender is a project launched by the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong police force. This unit aims to create awareness campaigns for citizens to learn about online security risks. 

According to the police report, the fraudsters posed as Binance to convince customers to send sensitive details. The message prompted users to click a link to verify their identity details before a set deadline or risk account deactivation. 

Sadly, users who clicked the link to verify their details unknowingly gave the hackers access to their Binance account. Consequently, the hackers stole all assets in the affected wallets. 

The phishing scheme resulted in losses for eleven Hong Kong-based Binance customers. In two weeks, these losses exceeded $446,000 (3.5 million Hong Kong dollars). 

Meanwhile, the police have asked users who believed they received potentially fraudulent messages to report them. These reports can be logged in the Fraud Prevention section of its official website. 

Furthermore, the police displayed a link where users can access a newly published list of verified trading platforms. The Hong Kong Securities and Future Commission (SFC) carefully verifies these trading platforms. 

TOTAL chart
The daily chart shows that the crypto market’s total volume currently is $1.051 trillion. | Source: TradingView.com

Crypto Crimes In Hong Kong On the Rise, Police Intensify Efforts

Meanwhile, crypto investors in the country have been the target of scammers in recent weeks. The JPEX crypto exchange fraud that saw over 2,300 victims lose over $175 million remains a talking point. 

However, the Secretary for Security of Hong Kong, Chris Tang Ping-Keung, had promised to find justice for the victims. And during a September 27 press conference, Ping-Keung revealed that the police had made 12 arrests. 

Also, over 8 million Hong Kong dollars ($1 million) in cash and assets worth $9.8 million were seized. Furthermore, he stated that the police were still actively searching for the masterminds of the fraud.

Due to the increasing crimes, the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) created a group to combat fraudulent activities. This group aims to enhance the monitoring and active investigation of illegal activities carried out by virtual asset trading platforms. 

Also, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission mandated the licensing of all regional crypto exchanges. Although the regulatory framework is already operational, only two exchanges – HaskKey and OSL have received the license. However, several crypto exchanges in Hong Kong have applied for the license.

Featured image from Pixabay and chart from TradingView.com

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