The authorities in Hong Kong have issued a warning after 11 Binance users in Hong Kong were the subject of a spate of text message phishing schemes.
In a post titled “CyberDefender” on its Facebook page on October 9, the Hong Kong Police cautioned users of the fraud.
“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.”Hong Kong Police
As soon as consumers clicked the link and purportedly “verified” their personal information, according to the police, hackers gained entry to their Binance accounts and were able to take all of the assets stored in users’ wallets.
In the past two weeks, 11 Binance clients from Hong Kong have reported losses totalling more than $446,000 (3.5 million Hong Kong dollars), according to the article.
Users who think they may have received a possibly fraudulent communication are advised to report the messages on the police’s official website’s “fraud prevention” section.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) offered a link to a recently released list of verified virtual asset trading platforms, which the police also made available.
Only two cryptocurrency exchanges, HashKey and OSL, now have complete Hong Kong retail investing licenses.
The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force started the CyberDefender initiative in May to raise local citizens’ awareness of the dangers of internet security.
With the recent JPEX crypto exchange incident expanding to an estimated $180 million in losses and more than 2,300 Hong Kong-based investors registering complaints with the local authorities, fraud and fraudulent behaviour have hit Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency investors hard in recent weeks.
JPEX was an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange that reportedly used flamboyant advertising and “suspiciously” high profits on its financing products to entice Hong Kong residents. On September 15, the exchange increased the costs for withdrawals from its platform, making money unavailable to its consumers.
To thwart possible fraud, the SFC said that it will publish a list of both fully approved and “suspicious” crypto platforms following the scandal, which has been dubbed the greatest financial scam to ever hit Hong Kong.