A 55-year-old Hong Kong resident reportedly fell victim to an online cryptocurrency investment scam and lost all her savings worth almost HK$7 million (nearly $900,000).
These fraud cases have become quite frequent in the region lately. One study estimated that Hong Kong investors had lost around $50 million during the first half of 2022 due to crypto schemes.
‘Obtaining property by deceit’
According to a South China Morning Post coverageThe woman fell prey when a criminal contacted her on Instagram in January of this year. The investigation said that she then began chatting on another messaging app.
After gaining his trust, the scammer advised him to create an account on an unknown platform to invest in cryptocurrencies with the promise of big profits. Law enforcement officials pointed out that the information shared on the spot about the prices of digital assets was falsified and controlled by the criminal.
“He was told that he would be paid HK$2,500 daily interest in addition to a guaranteed profit of tens of thousands of US dollars,” police said.
The criminal lured the victim into transferring HK$6.96 million ($886,600) between February and the end of March to 19 designated bank accounts.
When the woman tried to withdraw a portion of her funds, she was asked to pay a fee. She even tried to borrow money from her daughter before realizing that she had been a victim of fraud.
The Hong Kong retiree sought help from police, who classified the case as “obtaining property by deceit,” an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, authorities have yet to arrest any suspects.
This is not the only example of a major crypto scam in Hong Kong this week. A 44 year old woman called the police a few days ago, claiming that he parted with $3.1 million after investing in the Tether (USDT) stablecoin on a dubious platform.
Crypto Schemes on the Rise in Hong Kong
Data for 2022 showed that there were more than 10,000 cyberattacks in Hong Kong between the beginning of January last year and the end of June. 798 of them were cryptography-related schemes that exhausted about $50 million from investors. By comparison, such crime accounted for $21 million in losses in the first half of 2021.
Police recently announced that the total number of cryptocurrency scams in China’s special administrative region increased to 2,336 by the end of 2022 (67% more than incidents in 2021). Law enforcement officers took over 1,884 of the cases.
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This post Hong Kong Woman Loses Life Savings in Crypto Scam (Report)
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