Hong Kong SFC Warns of Social Media Investment Scams


Hong Kong regulator, the SFC has introduced an official Facebook page with a campaign to warn the public about the increasing use of social media platforms to scam investors.

September 27, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has revealed that social media scams account for about 20% of market manipulation cases currently under investigation weeks after the police made arrests linked to the Next Digital rally.

Cracking down on organized investment fraud on online platforms is a high priority, said SFC chief executive Ashley Alder in a statement. To avoid falling victim to these scams, the public must be vigilant when offered unsolicited investment advice, or misleading tips, on social media.

SFC warns of social media ‘pump-and-dump’ scams

According to the watchdog, social media-based scams account for one-fifth of all ongoing investigations on market manipulation and warned against trusting information from platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, and Tinder. The SFC said that many scams often involved pump-and-dump practices where imposters pretending to be renowned analysts share tips to inflate share prices before selling stock they already held.

In response, the SFC has launched its own Facebook page to warn investors about the risk of fraud on social media platforms.

Although the regulator did not mention any specific case, the timing of the statement and new Facebook page coincides with the recent controversial rally of pro-democratic media company Next Digital.

Following the arrest of its owner Jimmy Lai, Next Digital share prices surged 1,200 percent in a few days. Although onlookers have attributed this to a rare showing of solidarity by regular investors, local police claimed that market manipulators were at play and led the arrest of 15 individuals based on such suspicions.

Read also: US Regulator Issues Cryptocurrency Pump And Dump Schemes Warning

At the time, the move was considered unusual as such investigations would fall under the remit of the SFC which only later issued a statement to clarify its position.

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  1. ethan says:

    Do not even think of investing your hard earned money with CRYPONXT & CRYPTEC. They have no empathy whilst perpetuating their evil acts and they will do all in their wherewithal to milk you asking for payment after payment to process your withdrawal requests and each time you make payment they come up with another reason to ask for more payment. Timothy Miller is a fraud and a dubious soul. I have a cumulative sum of one hundred and six thousand Euro equivalent to eight million Croatian kuna lost to these dingbats. Timothy Miller played me smooth and I feel really retarded for falling prey to these dubious elements. The FBI should be on them by now as I know for a fact that they have swindled hundreds of naive victims. Your end is near. Do well and refund all the monies you stolen from people who haven’t been able to repatriate their funds from you dishonest souls. Stay circumspect and do not suffer in silence.

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