Just when we thought the cryptocurrency market in Hong Kong was sailing on calmer waters, cybercriminals find their way to make waves. In recent times, this region has seen an increase in fraudulent activities related to cryptocurrencies. This time, Binance users were the most recently affected by a phishing scam that resulted in significant losses.
On October 9, the Hong Kong police force issued an alert on its “CyberDefender” Facebook page, reporting scammers posing as Binance. These criminals sent text messages to users stating that they needed to click on a specific link to confirm their identification details. The consequence of not doing so? They threatened to deactivate the accounts.
But here’s the scam: as soon as the link was accessed, the scammers gained complete control over users’ accounts and passwords. And, as expected, they drained all the cryptocurrencies stored there. The result? A loss of around 3.5 million Hong Kong dollars, the equivalent of US$447,561, distributed among 11 victims of the scheme.
In order to protect and guide the crypto community, the local police reinforced some security recommendations. Among them, the suggestion that transactions be carried out only on licensed virtual asset trading platforms.
It is worth noting that, at the moment, HashKey and OSL are the only exchanges licensed in Hong Kong. Additionally, calls have been made for large amounts of crypto to be stored in offline cold wallets, such as external storage devices or paper wallets. This measure considerably reduces the risk of cyber attacks.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.