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Hong Kong regulator acts against imposter crypto websites

TL;DR

  • The SFC of Hong Kong has intensified efforts to combat cryptocurrency fraud by blocking several fake websites impersonating local exchanges.
  • Impersonated platforms include OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain Limited, with the SFC issuing warnings against domains such as hskexpro.com and oslexu.com.
  • This crackdown was initiated in response to investor complaints regarding withdrawal issues and excessive transaction fees.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong has recently intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrency fraud by identifying and blocking several fake websites. These counterfeit sites were found to be impersonating major local cryptocurrency exchanges, namely OSL Digital Securities and Hash Blockchain Limited, which is also known as HashKey. The regulatory body’s vigilant actions respond to the growing concerns over the security of investors and the integrity of the digital asset trading environment in Hong Kong.

On March 4, the SFC formally warned against these deceptive websites after discovering multiple domains designed to mimic the two licensed exchanges. The fake domains included hskexpro.com, hskex.com, hskexs.com, hskexit.com, oslexu.com, and oslint.com. This move was prompted by reports from investors facing difficulties in withdrawing funds and complaints about excessive fees and commissions for such transactions. To mitigate the risk to the public, the SFC has requested assistance from the Hong Kong Police Force to restrict access to these malicious sites.

Hong Kong guidance and regulatory measures

To safeguard investors, the SFC has advised the public to exercise caution and conduct thorough verifications before engaging with crypto trading platforms. The regulator has stressed the importance of consulting its public register of licensed persons and registered institutions. Additionally, the list of licensed virtual asset trading platforms provided by the SFC is a crucial resource for investors seeking information on legitimate entities, including their official web addresses.

The SFC’s alert also extends to other fake websites impersonating different crypto exchanges, such as MEXC, for which eight domains were blacklisted on February 9. The regulatory authority emphasizes the necessity for investors to verify the authenticity of trading platforms and refrain from transferring funds or conducting transactions without proper verification of the counterparty’s identity.

Recommendations for safe online transactions

Bartosz Barwikowski, a layer-1 security expert at blockchain security firm Hacken, highlighted the challenges users face in distinguishing genuine websites from fraudulent ones, especially when accessing a platform for the first time. Barwikowski suggests that less than 1% of individuals check the SFC’s website for verification, indicating a gap in awareness and practice among users.

To combat this issue, he recommends using mobile applications over websites, as they are significantly harder to counterfeit, advising users to look for apps with a substantial number of positive reviews. Additionally, consulting trusted third-party websites, including government portals or cer.live for exchange verification, is advised to ensure the platform’s authenticity.


This latest regulatory action underscores the SFC’s commitment to maintaining a secure and transparent cryptocurrency trading environment in Hong Kong, especially following the acceptance of the last applications from crypto exchanges in the recent licensing cycle on February 29. Exchanges that failed to submit their applications by this deadline must cease operations in the region within three months, further enforcing the regulatory framework established to protect investors and uphold market integrity.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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