Hongkongers warned to watch out for hacked WhatsApp accounts after cases surge

Scam websites disguised as login pages for the WhatsApp messaging platform are still topping Google search results in Hong Kong despite efforts to remove them, prompting calls from experts for enhanced security measures given the low cost of advertising such fraudulent links. An online search by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) found up to four sham login pages replicating the genuine WhatsApp site as the top results for the instant-messaging platform’s web version, even though a company spokeswoman said it had acted against the fakes.

An elderly Hong Kong man has been duped out of HK$11.4 million (US$1.45 million) after being tricked into using a sham trading platform to buy mainland Chinese stocks, a police insider has said. The 77-year-old retiree living in Stanley fell victim to the scam after he responded to a WhatsApp message from a person posing as an investment expert in June. He was later lured into downloading a bogus trading application to invest in mainland stocks, a source familiar with the case on Friday said.

HackyClub Observation:

Last week, the Hong Kong Police Force issued warning urging residents to stay alert of fraudulent WhatsApp login pages due to unprecedented surge in scam reports related to compromised WhatsApp accounts. As a matter of fact, the police force has recorded a ninefold rise in the number of hijacked instant messaging accounts in a month, with 1,239 cases reported in September compared with 127 in August. Losses increased fourfold from HK$470,000 (US$60,110) in August to HK$2.3 million last month.


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