According to a report by the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong lost $216.6 million to crypto scams in 2022, which is a 106% surge from the previous year.

Hong Kong-based residents lost a total of $407 million in tech-related crimes, and more than 50% of that was due to crypto scams.

The number of crypto-related scams reported in Hong Kong rose by 67%, from 1,397 cases in 2021 to 2,336 cases in 2022.

Technology crime figures in Hong Kong. Source: Hong Kong police CyberDefender website

Cybercriminals have increasingly used cryptocurrencies as a medium to conceal their identities, transaction flow, and final destination, making it more difficult to track criminal funds.

Police report that perpetrators often pretend to be highly experienced in investing in crypto assets, precious metals, or foreign exchange products, luring victims into installing fraudulent investment applications that display fake transactions and returns.

The Hong Kong government has been actively engaged in developing cryptocurrency infrastructure, with a proposed licensing regime for crypto exchanges set to take effect from June 2023.