Here’s How a Hong Kong Housewife Lost $908K to Crypto Scammers: Report

A 46-year-old housewife in Hong Kong has reported losses of 7.1 million Hong Kong dollars ($908,000) after investing in a fraudulent crypto investment platform.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post, people familiar with the matter revealed that the woman did not realize she had been scammed until a year after the incident when she discussed the investment with her family.

Hong Kong Housewife Scammed of $908K

One of the fraudsters contacted the victim through Instagram in July 2022 and urged her to invest in cryptocurrencies through a link to a fraudulent trading platform.

Together with another scammer, who impersonated a customer service representative from the purported trading platform, the suspects tricked the woman into transferring over $900,000 into 15 bank accounts for crypto investments from August 19, 2022, to March 4, 2023. During this time, she received no profits on her investments.

Unidentified sources said she became suspicious of the scheme when she could not withdraw her assets or contact the fraudsters, including the fake customer service representative.

After she figured the crypto investment was a scam, the housewife reported it to the local police force earlier this week, and investigations are ongoing. Detectives from the Western District, Hong Kong, discovered that the name of the fraudulent crypto trading platform was linked to similar scam reports through Scameter.

This platform allows the public to check for suspicious or fraudulent web/IP addresses, emails, platform usernames, bank accounts, and mobile phone numbers. When asked why she did not do her due diligence on the trading platform through Scameter, the victim said she was not familiar with the search engine.

Crypto Scams on the Rise

Although no arrests have been made, the police have classified the case as “obtaining property by deception,” which is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment.

The Hong Kong police revealed that there has been an uptick in crypto investment scams amid the rising adoption of digital assets in the territory. Last year, financial losses from crypto investment fraud spiked 42.6% to HK$3.26 billion from HK$926 million in 2022. The number of reports also increased to 5,105 in 2023 from 1,884 the year before.

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