- Scammers have stolen $446,835 from 11 Binance accounts in the last two weeks, Hong Kong police reports.
- Attackers leveraged phishing text messages asking wallet holders to click links for identity verification.
- Hong Kong police have urged investors to trade using licensed cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the region for better protection.
- Only two cryptocurrency trading platforms – OSL Digital Securities Limited and Hash Blockchain Limited – have been licensed to serve.
Binance accounts have been victims of multiple phishing attacks over the past two weeks, with Hong Kong police reporting multiple cases and urging users to exercise caution. It comes at a time when the crypto industry has witnessed multiple attacks of different demeanor, spanning from DNS attacks to hacks, with key personalities including Billionaire Mark Cuban also falling victim.
Also Read: Galxe, Balancer DNS attacks reveals many crypto enterprises are vulnerable to subdomain/domain hijacking
Binance accounts lose HK$3.5 million
Binance users in Hong Kong have reported losing a combined total sum of H$3.5 million (worth approximately $446,835 at current rates). According to local police, the 11 victims were enticed with phishing text messages, which they thought originated from Binance, the world’s largest crypto trading platform by trading volume.
Specifically, the messages asked the account holders to click on the link provided to verify their identity before a certain deadline. “[The fake message warned] their accounts will be disabled if the users fail to do so,” read the police report. Upon interacting with the links, the exploiter got details of the users, including passwords, and used them to steal virtual assets from the accounts.
The Hong Kong police have issued a warning on its CyberDefender Facebook page, reminding users of the need for vigilance.
With these reports, the Hong Kong police have urged users to go for licensed crypto exchanges as they offer better protection. On this note, it is worth mentioning that only two crypto trading platforms have been licensed to serve Hong Kong retail customers since the new Securities and Futures Commission virtual asset rules were implemented on June 1. These are OSL Digital Securities Limited and Hash Blockchain Limited.
Further, the authorities have also encouraged the use of offline cold wallets, including external storage devices when large amounts of virtual assets are concerned, to limit the risks of hacking attacks. More on precaution, the police encouraged Hong Kongers to leverage the force’s Scameter search engine, which is available for public use on the CyberDefender website. This tool checks for scams by providing data useful in identifying “suspicious web addresses, emails, platform usernames, bank accounts, and mobile phone numbers or IP addresses.”
As a side note, the Hong Kong police handled almost 20,000 fraud cases in the first half (H1) of 2023, representing a 52% increase from what was indicated in H1 of 2022. The total value of losses in 2023 has reached HK$2.69 billion (approximately $345.5 million), representing a 28% increase from 2022’s HK$2.1 billion, or $268.17 million.
Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers. The author will not be held responsible for information that is found at the end of links posted on this page.
If not otherwise explicitly mentioned in the body of the article, at the time of writing, the author has no position in any stock mentioned in this article and no business relationship with any company mentioned. The author has not received compensation for writing this article, other than from FXStreet.
FXStreet and the author do not provide personalized recommendations. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of this information. FXStreet and the author will not be liable for any errors, omissions or any losses, injuries or damages arising from this information and its display or use. Errors and omissions excepted.
The author and FXStreet are not registered investment advisors and nothing in this article is intended to be investment advice.