Scammers impersonating crypto exchange Binance have been stealing digital assets from victims targeted in Hong Kong. Crypto scams have been ramping up in the region as it aims to become a digital finance hub.
On October 10, the SCMP reported that as much as $3.5 million HKD (around $447,000) had been stolen from Binance users in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Crypto Hub Rife With Scams
Scammers are sending phishing emails to Binance account holders, imitating the world’s most popular crypto exchange.
The scams prompt the crypto users to click a link to verify their identity before a deadline. Anyone who has ever used Binance will know that they regularly carry out these KYC update practices.
According to the Hong Kong police, “[The fake message warned] their accounts will be disabled if the users fail to do so [click the link].”
In the past two weeks, 11 Hongkongers notified police that crypto assets had been stolen from their Binance accounts, according to the report.
As with most phishing scams, action must be taken. In this case, redirection to a fake website that steals personal information. This is then used to access the crypto account and drain the funds.
Read more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For
Hong Kong law enforcement advised against storing large amounts of crypto on exchanges.
“Additionally, large amounts of virtual assets should be stored in offline cold wallets such as external storage devices to reduce the risk of hacking attacks.”
CyberDefender is a project launched in May by the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau. Its aim is to increase awareness of online security risks as the nation strives to become a regional crypto and fintech hub.
Moreover, only two crypto trading platforms have been licensed to serve Hong Kong retail customers since the new regulations came into effect on June 1. These are OSL Digital Securities Limited and Hash Blockchain Limited.
Binance has no base in Hong Kong but operates several regional headquarters and entities around the world. However, its parent company is registered in the Cayman Islands.
Friend.tech Enables 2FA
Not a day goes past without another crypto scam being reported.
SocialFi platform Friend.tech has been flooded with them recently. Scammers have targeted X (Twitter) users’ profiles to carry out SIM swap attacks and drain their Friend.tech accounts.
The platform has only recently enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) but that is of no consolation to the victims.
“You can now add a 2FA password to your Friend.tech account for additional protection if your cell carrier or email service becomes compromised,” it said on October 10.
Top crypto platforms in the US | December 2023
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