Fake Websites Impersonating Major Crypto Exchanges Blocked by Hong Kong’s SFC

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has taken action against fake websites posing as licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in the region.

On March 4, the SFC issued a warning regarding multiple suspicious websites that were impersonating two licensed crypto trading platforms. These fraudulent websites included domains such as hskexpro.com, hskex.com, hskexs.com, hskexit.com, oslexu.com, and oslint.com, which were impersonating the legitimate exchanges OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain Limited (also known as HashKey).

The SFC reported that these websites were involved in fund withdrawal difficulties and charged high fees and commissions for withdrawals. In response, the SFC has blocked access to all six websites and requested the Hong Kong Police Force to take further action.

With the rise of web 3.0 and the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), it is important to be cautious of fake websites and scams. Always verify the legitimacy of a website before making any transactions or providing personal information. Examples of web 3.0 websites include those that utilize blockchain technology, such as cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized applications (dApps).

Fake Websites Impersonating Crypto Exchanges on SFC’s Alert List

The SFC’s official crypto alert list has recently added several fake websites impersonating popular exchanges like MEXC. This is not the first time the SFC has blacklisted such websites, as they previously blacklisted eight domains impersonating MEXC on Feb. 9.

The SFC is warning investors to be cautious and verify the authenticity of trading platforms before making any transactions. They recommend using their public register of licensed persons and registered institutions, as well as the list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms for accurate information on licensed entities and their official websites.

According to Bartosz Barwikowski, a layer-1 security expert at the blockchain security firm Hacken, it can be challenging for users to distinguish between original and fake websites, especially when accessing them for the first time. It is crucial for investors to verify the identity of the counterparty before sending any money or making transactions.

How to Protect Yourself from Fake Websites in the Age of Web 3.0

According to Barwikowski, only a small percentage of people would actually take the time to verify the legitimacy of a website by checking the SEC’s website. Instead, he suggests relying on trusted third parties rather than search engines or social media platforms like Reddit, as scammers can easily manipulate search results.

To avoid falling victim to fake websites, Barwikowski offers two recommendations:

This news comes shortly after the SFC’s recent acceptance of the final round of crypto exchange license applications on February 29. Any exchanges that failed to submit their applications by this date must exit the region within three months.

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