Binance users in Hong Kong fall victim to costly SMS scams.
According to an alert from the Hong Kong police, 11 customers have collectively lost more than $446,000 in recent weeks.
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In a move to safeguard its residents, Hong Kong's Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau disseminated a warning through its CyberDefender Facebook page.
The notice detailed how fraudsters, pretending to be Binance, sent text messages that pressured users to click a link to verify their identities. Failure to do so, the message claimed, would result in account deactivation.
Once these victims clicked the link and entered their information, cybercriminals gained full control over their Binance accounts, emptying their wallets of all assets. This phishing method resulted in almost a dozen of Binance users reporting losses totaling more than $446,000, equivalent to 3.5 million Hong Kong dollars.
To counteract the prevalence of such fraudulent activities, the police department advised recipients of suspicious text messages to report these incidents in the "fraud prevention" section on its official website.
Law enforcement has also directed crypto enthusiasts to a newly compiled list of verified virtual asset trading platforms approved by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
This comes at a time when the city's cryptocurrency community is already grappling with other scams, like the crypto exchange JPEX scandal, which has so far resulted in a staggering loss of around $180 million.
For context, only two cryptocurrency exchanges, HashKey and OSL, currently possess full retail investment licenses in Hong Kong.
As digital currency scams continue to surge, law enforcement and regulatory bodies are intensifying their efforts to protect investors and traders. All individuals are urged to exercise caution, verify messages, and consult official lists of licensed trading platforms.