Hong Kong police received 67% more scam reports related to cryptocurrencies in 2022, as the city looked to regain its status as a crypto hub, according to a report by South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Tuesday.
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- Losses from crypto scams in Hong Kong more than doubled from 2021 to HK$1.7 billion (US$216.6 million) in 2022, accounting for more than half of losses in computer-related crime.
- Computer-related crimes – including cyber attacks and online scams – in Hong Kong rose from 16,159 in 2021 to 22,797 in 2022, according to InfoSec, an information security website by the Hong Kong government.
- It is typically difficult for the police to track and trace scammers given the anonymous nature of crypto transactions, an unnamed source told SCMP.
- Crypto-related crimes are on the rise in Hong Kong as the city seeks to reclaim its status as a global crypto hub. Local authorities plan to introduce a licensing regime to allow retail investors access to token trading, and to establish regulation for stablecoins.
- To reduce crypto scams, the Hong Kong police launched Scameter in October, a one-stop search engine for users to identify scams. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is a supporting organization of Scameter.
- Binance has also collaborated with the police to send alert messages to its Hong Kong users before they withdraw from the platform, and is looking to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies in anti-scam initiatives, according to a blog post by Binance last Friday.
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