Hong Kong’s law enforcement authorities have issued a warning regarding a recent Binance phishing scam that specifically targets users in the region. The police have raised the alarm after 11 Hong Kong-based Binance customers fell victim to a series of phishing attacks delivered through text messages.
Hong Kong Police Alert: Binance Phishing Scam Targets Local Users, Resulting in $446,000 in Losses
In these deceptive messages, users were directed to click on a link and purportedly “verify” their personal information. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocuous action provided hackers with full access to the victims’ Binance accounts, enabling them to abscond with the assets held in these users’ wallets.
This wave of phishing incidents has resulted in a combined loss of over $446,000 (equivalent to 3.5 million Hong Kong dollars) reported by the 11 affected Binance customers in the past two weeks.
The police have urged individuals who suspect they have received fraudulent messages to document and report these suspicious communications through the “fraud prevention” section on the official police website.
Furthermore, they have shared a link to a newly published list of verified virtual asset trading platforms, provided by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). As of now, only two cryptocurrency exchanges, HashKey and OSL, hold full licenses for retail investment purposes in Hong Kong.
In May, the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force launched the CyberDefender project, aimed at enhancing the local population’s awareness of online security risks.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency investors have recently been targeted by various scams and fraudulent activities. Notably, the JPEX crypto exchange scandal has incurred an estimated loss of $180 million, with over 2,300 Hong Kong-based investors filing complaints with local authorities.
JPEX operated as an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange and attracted Hong Kong residents with enticing advertisements and suspiciously high returns on its lending products. The exchange raised withdrawal fees on September 15, rendering users’ funds inaccessible.
In response to this colossal scandal, described as one of the largest financial fraud cases in Hong Kong’s history, the SFC announced plans to publish a list of both fully licensed and “suspicious” cryptocurrency platforms to combat potential fraud.
The Hong Kong police issued their warning about the phishing scam in a Facebook post under the moniker “CyberDefender” on October 9, cautioning users about fraudsters posing as Binance and sending text messages claiming that users must click a provided link to verify their identity details before an impending deadline to avoid account deactivation.