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Beware of This New Crypto Scam: Finance Expert Loses $2.1 Million

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Hong Kong finance manager loses $2.1 million to fake crypto platform.
  • Scam initiated via Instagram, moving to Line for deeper engagement.
  • Failed withdrawal attempt exposes scam, with links to known fraud accounts.
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A finance manager from Hong Kong fell victim to a sophisticated crypto scam, losing over HK$17 million (~$2.1 million.) A sham trading platform lured her with a bait of HK$2.6 million (~ $332,400) in “profits” from gold and crypto investments.

This case is a stark reminder of the increasing sophistication of online investment frauds that prey on unsuspecting individuals with alluring profits.

How Hong Kong Finance Manager Fell Victim to Crypto Scam

Initially, the 57-year-old victim received a message on Instagram from someone claiming to be a former business partner from Singapore. Subsequently, their conversation shifted to the messaging app Line. There, the scammer persuaded her to open an account on a fraudulent trading site.

Over several months, the victim made 45 transactions, transferring HK$12.5 million (~$1.5 million) into 29 bank accounts. It was because the illusion of lucrative returns deceived her.

According to the SCMP, the scam unraveled when the victim tried to withdraw her funds. She discovered she could not access either her money or the trading site.

Read more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

This alarming discovery led her to file a police report, exposing the platform’s fraudulent nature. Investigations revealed that nine of the bank accounts involved had been flagged in previous scams, noted in the police’s anti-fraud Scameter search engine.

“If the victim had used the Scameter to check before making the money transfers, she could have avoided the losses,” a SCMP source said.

This incident is part of a broader trend in the digital finance sector, especially within cryptocurrencies, which saw substantial losses due to scams last year. Specifically, the crypto industry lost $152.7 million in exit scams, $207.8 million in phishing incidents, and over $308.5 million in other scams.

Amount Lost to Crypto Scams in 2023. Source: CertiK

Notably, one recent scam targets Coinbase users through social engineering, tricking them into resetting their login credentials. This scam alone has led to significant financial losses, including a case where a victim lost over 1,400 Ethereum (ETH), valued at approximately $4 million.

Read more: Crypto Social Media Scams: How to Stay Safe

Experts recommend using security keys for two-factor authentication and avoiding reusing emails and passwords to enhance security.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya excels in delivering SEO-optimized crypto news under tight deadlines. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.