Crypto Scam: Hong Kong Company Executive Defrauded Of $2 Million

Crypto scam continues to plague the global financial landscape, with the latest victim being an executive of a prominent Hong Kong company. Falling prey to a string of crypto investment frauds, the director found himself ensnared in the intricate web of deceit orchestrated by cunning fraudsters.

Local authorities have revealed that the unfortunate individual was lured into setting up an account on a seemingly legitimate app, only to realize too late that it was a meticulously crafted facade designed to deceive unsuspecting investors. 

As the devastating consequences unfolded, the director suffered an immense financial loss, totaling over HK$16 million (equivalent to approximately US$2 million).

Hong Kong Businessman Falls Prey To Facebook Impersonator 

According to The South China Morning Post, the sophisticated scheme unfolded when a 47-year-old businessman innocently accepted a friend request on Facebook from an individual masquerading as an investment expert back in March. 

As the friendship deepened, the victim and the imposter transitioned their conversations to the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp, where they discussed lucrative investment opportunities in the cryptocurrency market. 

Trusting the persona of the self-proclaimed expert, the director was enticed into opening an account on a fraudulent application, believing it to be a legitimate platform for investment activities.

Victim Left Helpless As Scammer Vanishes With Millions In Crypto 

The director’s sense of security was shattered when he attempted to withdraw his supposed profits, only to find that the funds were mysteriously inaccessible. To his horror, all attempts to contact the bogus expert proved futile as the scammer vanished into thin air, leaving the victim in a state of despair and financial jeopardy.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, the victim promptly sought the assistance of law enforcement. 

A source familiar with the case told the SCMP: 

“Between April 19 and May 13, he was lured into transferring HK$16.23 million into 16 designated bank accounts in 39 transactions.” 

The sheer magnitude of the loss as a result of the crypto scam underscores the intricate nature of the scam and the calculated steps taken by the fraudsters to exploit the victim’s trust and vulnerability.

Authorities Grapple With Soaring Reports Of Crypto Scam 

Incidences of crypto scam are proliferating at an alarming rate in Hong Kong, as revealed by the local police force. Startling statistics indicate a significant surge in fraudulent activities related to digital currencies, highlighting the growing menace faced by individuals and the pressing need for robust measures to counteract such schemes.

According to the police force’s records, a staggering 2,336 cases of crypto scam were reported in Hong Kong during the previous year alone, representing a worrisome 67% increase from the 1,397 incidents documented in 2021. 

The gravity of the situation becomes even more evident when examining the first quarter of this year. Authorities were inundated with 8,886 reports of deception between January and March, reflecting a substantial 65.2% surge compared to the 5,378 cases of crypto scam logged during the corresponding period in 2022. 

-Featured image from National Geographic • 2023