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Hong Kong Police Issues Warning After Binance Users Lose $450K in Phishing Scams

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Source: Pixabay / Andy Leung

The Hong Kong police force has issued an alert after 11 Binance users in the region fell victim to phishing scams, losing over $450,000 combined. 

Through its CyberDefender program, Hong Kong police warned that fraudsters impersonating Binance sent texts claiming accounts needed verification by linking. 

“Recently, fraudsters posing as Binance sent text messages claiming that users must click the link in the message to verify their identity details before a deadline, otherwise their account would be deactivated,” the warning read. 

It added that once users clicked on the link, hackers were able to drain victims’ wallets of all crypto assets.

11 Binance Users Have Fallen Victim in Past Two Weeks

In the last two weeks alone, fraudulent messages have duped 11 people into disclosing their account login details. 

Police asked everyone who received suspicious messages to report them. 

They also shared the Securities and Futures Commission’s newly published list of authorized virtual asset platforms to help residents identify legitimate exchanges.

Currently, only Hashkey and OSL hold full retail operating licenses from the SFC. 

As reported, the Hong Kong Police Force launched CyberDefender, a new metaverse platform aimed at educating the public about the potential dangers associated with Web3 and the metaverse, in May. 

The platform, developed by the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB), was created to prepare Hong Kong citizens for the challenges ahead in the digital age, with a focus on technology crime prevention

Hong Kong Embroiled in Controversy Following JPEX Saga

Despite its growing regulatory stance toward digital assets, Hong Kong has been embroiled in controversy following the JPEX saga. 

JPEX, established in 2021, targeted retail investors through extensive advertising campaigns in prominent business and transportation hubs. 

The exchange claimed to be a licensed cryptocurrency exchange and enticed investors with promises of high returns, reaching up to 20 percent. 

However, on September 13, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission accused the platform of operating without a license and engaging in “suspicious” activities. 

Amid the ongoing investigation, the Hong Kong and Macau police have received 2,417 complaints involving alleged losses exceeding HK$1.5 billion. 

Meanwhile, analysts and industry experts have voiced concern that the fallout from the JPEX debacle will present significant challenges for virtual asset companies and hinder the government’s efforts to expand the sector.

“At a time when people still don’t completely understand what Web3 is, the JPEX case has created a negative impression for people in Hong Kong on digital assets and the broader Web3 industry,” Cyrus Ip, a crypto venture investor and chief business officer at artificial intelligence start-up DreamWld Technology, said.