Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission warned the public today of an allegedly fraudulent crypto exchange operating under the name MEXC.
In an announcement published on its website, the SFC noted that the fake organization was posing as the “legitimate” crypto exchange with the same name.
MEXC’s Crypto Fraud
The fake MEXC’s crypto fraud activities began by allegedly luring victims to social media or instant messaging chat groups while promising to provide free investment advice, according to the announcement.
After joining these chat groups, victims were encouraged to buy cryptocurrencies on websites operated by MEXC. Victims were then asked to deposit funds into designated bank accounts for investment purposes, but after that, they reported difficulties with fund withdrawal.
The fake MEXC and its websites have been added to the alert list of the SFC due to suspicions regarding virtual asset trading platforms. The Hong Kong police have also taken measures to restrict access to MEXC websites.
Currently, the SFC and the police are collaborating to share intelligence and investigate instances of illegal virtual asset trading activities.
“The SFC once again reminds the public to be cautious about “too-good-to-be-true” investment opportunities and advice posted on social media platforms and via instant messaging apps,” the regulator said in its announcement. “The public should also be aware that fraudulent, unlicensed platforms will often adopt names similar to those of legitimate entities to confuse investors.”
The Hong Kong SFC
Last week, the SFC issued a warning to unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges, instructing them to either apply for licenses by February 29 or cease operations by May 31.
Hong Kong had introduced a regulatory framework for licensing cryptocurrency exchanges dealing with virtual assets the previous year. This framework allowed for the licensing of exchanges that provide retail trading services.
Hong Kong has so far granted licenses to two platforms, namely HashKey and OSL.
Authorities in Hong Kong also commenced a public consultation on legislative proposals aimed at implementing a licensing regime for providers of over-the-counter virtual asset trading services yesterday.
🇭🇰 Hong Kong Seeks Input on OTC Crypto Trading Rules
Here’s a summary 👇
— Cryptonews.com (@cryptonews) February 8, 2024
The consultation suggests a licensing requirement from the Commissioner of Customs and Excise (CCE) for those providing spot trading services for virtual assets in Hong Kong. Additionally, it proposes extending CCE oversight to cover all over-the-counter virtual asset services, including monitoring licensees’ anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing activities.
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