Hong Kong’s losses to crypto scams doubled to $217M last year: Report


Some international locations worldwide suffered greater monetary losses to cryptocurrency scams regardless of an enormous bear market in 2022.

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Losses from crypto scams in Hong Kong amounted to 1.7 billion Hong Kong {dollars} ($216.6 million) final 12 months — surging 106% from a 12 months earlier than — based on native police.

The variety of crypto-related scams reported in Hong Kong in 2022 equaled 2,336 circumstances, surging 67% from 1,397 circumstances recorded by police in 2021, the South China Morning Publish (SCMP) reported.

Hong Kong scams involving crypto accounted for greater than 50% of the three.2 billion HK$ ($407 million) stolen from metropolis residents in know-how crimes, based on the official information from the Hong Kong police CyberDefender web site. Within the earlier 4 years, on-line scammers bagged an analogous amount of cash or about 3 billion HK$ yearly.

The had been virtually 23,000 reported circumstances of technology-related crimes in 2022.

Expertise crime figures in Hong Kong. Supply: Hong Kong police CyberDefender web site

In keeping with SCMP sources, police witnessed a rise in the usage of cryptocurrency as a medium for on-line scams, with fraudsters having the ability to cover their identities, transaction movement and ultimate vacation spot. One insider reportedly stated that crypto use in on-line crimes has made monitoring felony funds extra sophisticated for enforcement.

The Hong Kong police power’s cybersecurity and know-how crime bureau additionally shared some observations a couple of typical crypto-related scammer, describing such perpetrators as pretending to be extremely skilled in investing in crypto property, treasured metals or overseas alternate merchandise. Such individuals usually lure victims into putting in fraudulent funding purposes exhibiting pretend transactions and returns, police said.

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The report comes amid the federal government of Hong Kong becoming increasingly engaged with the event of cryptocurrency infrastructure, distinguishing its crypto regulation method from China’s blanket crypto ban enforced in 2021. In February, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Fee called for public feedback on the newly proposed licensing regime for crypto exchanges set to take impact from June 2023.