Hong Kong’s police force has issued a warning after 11 Binance users in Hong Kong fell victim to a phishing scam sent via text messages. In a Facebook post titled “CyberDefender,” the police cautioned users about the scam, which involved fraudsters posing as Binance.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) October 9, 2023
Phishing Scam Details
The scammers sent text messages claiming that users needed to click a link to verify their identity details within a specified deadline. They threatened that failing to do so would result in the deactivation of their Binance accounts. Unfortunately, when users clicked the link and completed the so-called verification, hackers gained full access to their Binance accounts. Subsequently, the scammers emptied the users’ wallets.
The police reported that 11 Binance customers in Hong Kong had collectively lost over $446,000 (equivalent to 3.5 million Hong Kong dollars) to this phishing scheme over the last two weeks. To combat such scams, the police encouraged users who received suspicious messages to log them in the “fraud prevention” section on their official website.
Verified Trading Platforms
The police also shared a link to a list of verified virtual asset trading platforms provided by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Currently, only two cryptocurrency exchanges, Hashkey and OSL, hold full licenses for retail investment purposes in Hong Kong.
Launched in May, the CyberDefender project is an initiative by the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force. Its aim is to enhance the awareness of online security risks among local citizens.
Recent Crypto Scams in Hong Kong
Hong Kong police unveil ‘CyberDefender’ metaverse platform to combat rising digital crimes. https://t.co/xyqa0iWQxf
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 28, 2023
The phishing scam targeting Binance users in Hong Kong is part of a broader trend of fraudulent activities affecting crypto investors in the region. Notably, the recent JPEX crypto exchange scandal led to estimated losses of around $180 million, with over 2,300 Hong Kong residents filing complaints with local police. JPEX was an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange that attracted users with high returns on lending products and then imposed exorbitant withdrawal fees, rendering user funds inaccessible. In response, the SFC announced plans to publish a list of both fully licensed and “suspicious” crypto platforms as part of its efforts to combat potential fraud.