Hong Kong Police have arrested nineteen suspects linked to a cryptocurrency-related scam that led to the loss of $11 million Hong Kong dollars, an equivalent of 1.4 million United States Dollars.
The Standard reported on Friday that members of the 19-man gang of fraudsters arrested were males and females of ages 18 to 30. They played the roles of masterminds, technicians, managers, and promoters of the scam. Ten among them were core members of the gang, while the rest were triad.
While explaining their mode of operation, Police said that they used rented space in commercial buildings, then hired youths as their promoters, which lured people in by displaying extravagant lifestyles on social media, through showing off cash, a watch, and a sports car.
They instructed their victims to transfer money and crypto into their self-owned bank accounts and crypto wallets, claiming they will use them for investments. They also redirected victims to a fraudulent website and made them download a fake crypto app that deceived victims into believing that their accounts are making profits.
Victims never realized it was a scam until they discovered that their funds could not be withdrawn. At that time, the fraudsters had gone away with the funds.
The two-day operation led to the recovery of HK$50,000 worth of cryptocurrency, nine computers, 128 smartphones, cash worth HK$1.4 million, and a sports car.