In Hong Kong, crypto-related scams accounted for more than 50% of the total $407 million stolen from city residents in 2022.
The number of crypto related scams is increasing
Some countries suffered huge financial losses from crypto scams. These losses were sometimes greater than those suffered during the bear market
Hong Kong lost a whopping 1.7 billion Hong Kong dollars to crypto scams last year. This equals $216.6 million. This means that the number of stolen money has increased by 106% compared to a year earlier.
Last year, 2,336 crypto-related scams were reported in Hong Kong. This is a 67% increase from the 1,397 cases recorded in 2021, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. recently.
According to official data from the CyberDefender website of the Hong Kong police, more than 50% of the HK$3.2 billion ($407 million) stolen involved crypto. Over the past 4 years, online scammers have looted a similar amount.
In addition, there were nearly 23,000 cases of technology-related crimes in 2022.
According to SCMP sources, the police witnessed an increase in the use of cryptocurrency as a medium for online scams. Fraudsters were able to keep their identity, transaction flow and final destination well hidden. The use of crypto has made tracing criminal funds more complicated for enforcement.
The Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police also shared some observations about a typical crypto-related scammer. It describes this scammer as perpetrators pretending to be very experienced in investing in crypto. Such scammers often lure victims into installing rogue investment applications that display fake transactions and returns.
Crypto ban in China
The report comes as the Hong Kong government is increasingly involved in developing cryptocurrency infrastructure. This differentiates its approach to crypto regulation from China’s general crypto ban that has been in effect since 2021.
In February, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission called for public feedback on the newly proposed licensing regime for crypto exchanges. This proposed licensing regime will take effect from June 2023.