Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Jul 20, 2024

Fightback clicks as phishing scams mount

Fightback clicks as phishing scams mount

Police recorded 1,408 phishing scams involving losses of HK$26.1 million in the first three months of this year, with three quarters of fraudsters disguising themselves as telecom service providers.
Among victims, a 65-year-old male accountant lost HK$700,000 - most of his life savings - after clicking into a phishing website to redeem prizes.

Another victim lost HK$24,000 after an SMS told her that points in her reward program account were soon to expire. She entered credit card details on a form only to find her card was used on a Korean online platform.

The ages of victims ranged from 18 to 78, with around 25 percent of them from 51 to 60.

"Scammers target psychological weaknesses and fear of victims through emphasizing discounts or irregular activities of bank accounts using SMS," said Lester Ip Cheuk-yu, a chief inspector in the cyber security and technology crime bureau.

A common phishing method is to send shortened URL links of websites through phone messages or third-party instant messaging apps.

Once victims click on websites a malicious software is implanted in their mobile devices. Bank account information can then be stolen.

"Fraudsters are changing their methods according to our daily lives and habits," said Baron Chan Shun-ching, an acting senior superintendent in the bureau.

"Victims input their personal and bank account information after clicking into phishing sites," he said, so people need "to raise their alertness when encountering suspicious phone messages."

Phishing messages disguised as HKeToll, a smart mobility initiative for drivers to pay tolls remotely that was launched on May 7, were discovered in April.

The messages were that pay tolls had not been received - a claim meant to lure recipients into providing credit card numbers.

"Apart from local scammers a lot of victims received messages sent from abroad," Chan added. "The police are working on blocking overseas phishing messages."

Chan added that overseas cases are difficult to tackle due to cross-jurisdiction situations.

Additionally, victims usually realize they have been scammed weeks or months after falling into phishing traps.

To increase awareness about phishing police are pushing through public education, setting up search engines and collaborating with the telecom industry to block URL links and phone numbers.

So far the force and the Office of the Communications Authority have blocked access to over 30,000 suspicious URL links.

Scameter, a police anti-fraud search engine, allows people to identify and prevent online fraud by indicating the risk of fraud of suspicious calls, bank account numbers, emails and websites.

The force is now mulling over whether to set up a system to alert citizens when a bank account is related to scammers.

The Office of the Communications Authority will also introduce a trial SMS registration system by year's end.

Meanwhile, 34 people who were responsible for HK$3.6 million of losses in five large-scale operations in the first quarter of this year have been arrested.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×