Scammers swindled two elderly Hong Kongers out of $1.1 million Through a phone scam and directing them to fake trading platforms.
The scammers targeted a 66-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man to invest in Tether (USDT) and mainland stocks by posing as investment experts on online platforms.
Phone scams in Hong Kong target the elderly
A so-called crypto guru tricked the woman into investing in Tether through a malicious WhatsApp link leading to a site that collects her data. The scammer gave the victim nearly $10,000 in exchange to allay suspicions.
After seeing nearly $586,000 transferred to another wallet in 15 transactions over the course of three months, the woman suspected fraud and called law enforcement.
Another “licensed” investment platform has extorted $515,000 from a Hong Kong man by promoting the use of a stock trading app. The man transferred the money to nine bank accounts but was unable to access the platform to withdraw the profits. he is too mentioned Police fraud.
Technology-based crimes accounted for more than two-thirds of fraud cases in Hong Kong last year. The first two weeks of April saw 196 job seekers scammed by a commission-based job scam, resulting in them losing $40,000.
The UK and Hong Kong governments crack down on phone fraud
Hong Kong Police announce Anti-fraud messages will accompany calls from +852 numbers beginning in May. Residents can use an app called Scammeter to determine the threat level of suspected fraud.
Despite these technological initiatives, Chief of Police Raymond Seo believes banks can cooperate more to track illicit money flows.
Criminals stole $127 million from phones in the previous year, which has since decreased by 48% as of the first quarter of 2023.
On Wednesday, the United Kingdom announced a ban on cryptocurrency cold calls and insurance amid $9 billion in annual national losses. It also pledged to review access to group texting technology and announced new technology to detect when criminals impersonate legitimate UK callers.
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