Nineteen people have been arrested in Hong Kong in connection with a cryptocurrency scam that duped 170 people in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and the U.K. “The fraudsters used a fake app and some kind of fake web pages … to deceive people,” the police said.
Hong Kong Police Crack Down on Crypto Scam
Police in Hong Kong have arrested 19 persons in connection with a cryptocurrency scam, The Standard reported Friday.
The scam duped around 170 victims of about $11 million Hong Kong dollars (US$1.4 million). The victims were in Hong Kong and overseas, including Taiwan, mainland China, and the U.K.
Eleven men and eight women, aged between 18 and 31, were arrested for conspiracy to defraud this week. They included the scam’s alleged mastermind, technicians, managers, and promoters. The publication noted that some of them were triad members and 10 of them were core members of the syndicate.
The police explained that the fraudsters rented space in commercial buildings in Hong Kong to run their operation. They also hired youngsters to promote the scam by having them showing off cash, a yacht, and a sports car on social media to lure other victims.
The fraudsters instructed the victims to transfer money and cryptocurrencies into their bank accounts and crypto wallets by either going to a fraudulent website or downloading fake cryptocurrency apps. They claim that the funds would be used for investments.
Tam Wai-shun, superintendent from the police’s crime division, commented:
The fraudsters used a fake app and some kind of fake web pages … in order to deceive people.
The victims’ accounts on the fake apps or the fraudulent website show false information that the victims were making profits.
The victims discovered that they were duped when they could not withdraw their funds. However, the fraudsters had already vanished with the customers’ money and cryptocurrencies. One of the victims lost up to HK$760,000, marking the biggest loss in a single case, the officers said.
During a two-day operation this week, the police confiscated nine computers, 128 smartphones, cash worth HK$1.4 million, cryptocurrency worth around HK$50,000, and a sports car in connection to the case.
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