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Hong Kong Investors Lost $50M to Crypto Scams in 2022 (Report)

Hong Kong Investors Lost $50M to Crypto Scams in 2022 (Report), Crypto Trading News
Cryptocurrency scams were reportedly one of the top cybercrimes in Hong Kong in the first half of 2022, and 25% involved digital assets.

The worrying number of such scams may be due to the growing interest of many Hong Kong residents in cryptocurrencies be explained. A recent survey ranked the state as the most crypto-ready nation in the world.

105% more crypto scams than in H1 2021

According to a report by the South China Morning Post reportingthere were 10,613 cyberattacks in Hong Kong between early January and late June this year. 798 of these were cryptocurrency-related scams — a 105% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

The perpetrators stole HK$387.9 million (about US$50 million) from Hong Kong-based companies and individuals with digital assets – a significant increase compared to the US$21 million stolen in the first half of 2021.

investment tip Hong Kong Investors Lost $50M to Crypto Scams in 2022 (Report), Crypto Trading News

One of those victims was a 30-year-old woman named Fan, who runs a foreign exchange business in the area. A few months ago, she received a message via WhatsApp from an anonymous individual posing as the head of a digital assets platform. The criminal tricked her into spending around $280,000 in Tether (USDT) to invest.

“The first four transactions to exchange [cryptocurrency] Tether went smoothly. The victim received HK$2.7 million, including payment to her for the exchange service she provided to the scammer. By this point, the scammer had gained the victim’s trust,” according to law enforcement.

Shortly after, however, the scammer advised Fan to transfer the accumulated profits to a dubious cryptocurrency wallet. Needless to say, she lost access to her assets while the scammer stopped communicating with her.

Hong Kong Police also found that digital asset-related scams were among the top three scams in the country in the first half of 2022. The other two were job offer scams and fraudulent online shopping activities.

Hong Kong is climbing the crypto ladder

The rapid increase in cryptocurrency scams in Hong Kong may be fueled by the growing interest residents have shown in digital assets recently. A poll conducted in the last month revealed that the SAR of China is the country with the highest crypto readiness in the world.

The first place was a result of a combination of numerous factors, including the government’s friendly attitude towards the industry, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs and interest in the industry per capita.

The world’s leading economy – the US – took second place, while Europe’s financial center – Switzerland – followed in third place.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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