Hong Kong has seen an increased level of crypto scams amid the growing interest in digital assets over the past few years. A recent report revealed that crypto scams in the region have surged by 105% in the first half of 2022. This comes after recent research that classified Hong Kong as the most crypto-ready nation in the world.
$50 Million Lost To Crypto Scammers
The report by South China Morning Post noted that 10,613 cyber attacks have been recorded in the nation from January to June this year. Out of this number, 798 of them were related to cryptocurrency fraudulent schemes.
Fraudsters and scammers stole $50 million from digital asset firms based in Hong Kong, which is a significant amount considering that firms only lost $21 million in H1 2021.
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A 30-year-old woman named Fan, who was one of the victims, said an anonymous person sent a WhatsApp message to her. The scammer deceived her that they were the head of a digital asset platform, and convinced her to invest nearly $280,000 in Tether (USDT).
Crypto-Related Fraud Among The Top Three Dubious Acts In Hong Kong
The law enforcement agency stated that the first four exchanges of Tether went without issues, as she received HK$2.7 million from the transaction. The money included payment for the exchange service she rendered to the scammer. By this time the fraudster had already gained her trust. Then, they turned the screw.
After the transactions, the scammer advised the victim to transfer the accumulated profits to a cryptocurrency wallet. But unknown to the victim, the wallet was used by the fraudster to scam other victims.
After transferring the funds, the scammer stopped communicating with her and she lost access to the funds.
Law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong stated that frauds linked to digital assets are one of the top three dubious acts in the country in H1 2022. The other two were fraudulent online shopping activities and job scams.
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