SFC Takes Action: Hong Kong Cracks Down on fake Crypto Exchanges

Mar. 4, 2024
SFC Takes Action: Hong Kong Cracks Down on fake Crypto Exchanges

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong issued a public warning on March 4 about fraudulent websites executing as licensed crypto exchanges.

A notice highlighted that multiple websites mimic the appearance and branding of Hash Blockchain Limited and OSL Digital Securities Limited to deceive users. Hash and OSL are the only two exchanges with a license in Hong Kong.

According to the notice, the SFC has blacklisted six websites: hskexpro.com, hskex.com, hskexs.com, hskexit.com, oslexu.com, and oslint.com. Moreover, The steps were implemented in response to allegations of fund withdrawal issues and hefty withdrawal fees and commissions.

The websites are included on the SFC’s official crypto warning list and other fraudulent websites imitating other cryptocurrency exchanges such as MEXC. The SFC already banned eight domains spoofing MEXC on February 9.

Source: SFC

Hong Kong Issues Crypto Scam Alert

The SFC raised the alarm over a scam after fraudulent websites duped investors. Affected individuals could not withdraw funds and were charged high costs to access assets.

In response, the SFC has urged investors to thoroughly research and verify the legitimacy of any cryptocurrency exchange before engagement. The Hong Kong police have also taken action by shutting down the fraudulent sites.

Furthermore, the regulator has warned about the potential existence of other misleading platforms. It also encourages investors to confirm the registration status of any financial institution they plan to deal with.

The notice said :

“SFC wants the public to know that these frauds typically include all sorts of assets transacted online via various social media platforms and instant messaging apps. Investors are better off being careful and skeptical about the source of a virtual asset trading platform for any lucrative agreements.”

This incident is the latest in a series of alerts from Hong Kong authorities regarding scam websites. Last month, the regulatory body issued a public caution against a fake entity posing as the crypto exchange MEXC Global.

The imposter deceived individuals into participating in a cryptocurrency investment scam. Furthermore, Hong Kong has emerged as a preferred location for cryptocurrency exchanges because of its clear regulatory framework and advantageous positioning in the Asian market.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has initiated a licensing process for crypto exchanges, receiving applications from notable platforms, including Crypto.com, OKX, HTX, and ByBit. These exchanges are seeking authorization to operate legally within the region. The move reflects a broader regulatory effort to establish a framework for the cryptocurrency industry.

Related Reading | HashKey OTC Secures Major Payment Institution License

Rida Fatima

News writer
An ardent wordsmith with a rich five-year background in delving into the realms of finance and cryptocurrencies. Alongside curating captivating blogs, Unique's talents extend to crafting imaginative and engaging content.