Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Issues Warning on Fake Crypto Exchanges

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong has issued a public warning regarding fraudulent websites impersonating licensed crypto exchanges in the region. On March 4, the SFC alerted the public about suspicious websites posing as HSKEX and OSL Digital Securities Limited, two licensed crypto trading platforms.

The fraudulent websites were added to the SFC’s Suspicious Virtual Asset Trading Platforms Alert List after reports emerged of users experiencing difficulties withdrawing funds and encountering excessive fees and taxes on the fake platforms. In response, the Hong Kong Police Force has taken action to block access to these fraudulent websites.

Investors are urged to exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence before engaging with any virtual asset trading platform to avoid falling victim to scams. This warning comes amidst a significant increase in virtual asset-related crimes in Hong Kong, nearly tripling since 2021, although specific statistics on arrests and prosecutions vary.

Currently, only two exchanges, OSL and HashKey Exchange, have been granted licenses by the SFC in Hong Kong, with 22 other trading platforms seeking regulatory approval to operate in the region. As the crypto market evolves, Hong Kong remains vigilant in enforcing rigorous regulations to protect investors and maintain market integrity.