Here’s How a Hong Kong Housewife Lost $908K to Crypto Scammers: Report

Here’s How a Hong Kong Housewife Lost $908K to Crypto Scammers: Report

A 46-year-old housewife in Hong Kong has reported losses of 7.1 million Hong Kong dollars ($908,000) after investing in a fraudulent crypto investment platform, making her a victim of a rising trend of crypto scams in the region. The unfortunate incident came to light when the woman discussed her investment with her family a year later and realized she had been scammed.

The scam began when one of the fraudsters contacted the victim through Instagram in July 2022, enticing her to invest in cryptocurrencies through a link to a trading platform. Working in tandem with another scammer posing as a customer service representative, the scammers convinced the woman to transfer over $900,000 into 15 bank accounts for crypto investments between August 19, 2022, and March 4, 2023. Over this period, she received no profits on her investments, arousing suspicion.

The victim became concerned when she couldn’t withdraw her assets or get in touch with the fraudsters, including the fake customer service representative. After realizing she had fallen for a scam, she reported the incident to the local police force, triggering an ongoing investigation. Detectives discovered that the name of the fraudulent crypto trading platform had been linked to similar scam reports through Scameter, a platform that assists in identifying suspicious or fraudulent web/IP addresses, emails, platform usernames, bank accounts, and mobile phone numbers.

When asked why she didn’t conduct due diligence on the trading platform through Scameter, the victim admitted she was not familiar with the search engine. This unfortunate lack of awareness highlights the importance of educating oneself about potential risks in the crypto space.

Police in Hong Kong have witnessed an increase in crypto investment scams, paralleling the growing adoption of digital assets in the territory. Financial losses from crypto investment fraud surged by 42.6% in 2023 to HK$3.26 billion compared to HK$926 million in 2022. The number of scam reports also rose from 1,884 to 5,105 during the same period, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance in engaging with crypto investments.

While no arrests have been made yet, the case has been classified as “obtaining property by deception,” a crime that carries a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment. This incident serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder for individuals to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before engaging in any investment opportunities, especially in the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrencies.