Binance launches anti-scam campaign after Hong Kong pilot run

Binance, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, is launching a campaign to prevent scams by issuing targeted alerts to potential victims, according to a March 3 blog post from the company. The project, called the “joint anti-scam campaign” was rolled out first in Hong Kong, and the company now intends to expand it into other jurisdictions.

According to the company’s post, it collaborated with the Hong Police Force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) to build an “alert and crime prevention message” targeted at Hong Kong residents. As part of the pilot project, when users tried to make withdrawals, they were subjected to warning messages that gave them information about common scams and tips on how to avoid scams.

Over the course of four weeks, Binance investigated customers’ responses to the messages. It found that approximately 20.4% of users either decided not to make the withdrawal or else investigated further to determine whether the transaction might be a scam.

The warning gave statistics on the number of scams that occurred in Hong Kong in 2001 and recommended resources such as Scameter, the Anti Deception Coordination Center, Cyber Defender, and Binance Verify. It also instructed users that Binance will never call them directly.

Related: Scam alert – Trezor warns users of new phishing attack

Binance considers the pilot program to have been a success, and it plans to collaborate with police in other jurisdictions to make tailor-made warning messages for customers outside of Hong Kong.

Social engineering and phishing scams have been a recurring problem for crypto users. In February, scammers allegedly created a fake version of the ETHDenver convention website, which they then used to trick users into giving away their crypto by calling a function on a malicious contract. Over $300k worth of crypto is believed to have been stolen through the scam. In another example, an influential NFT promoter had over $300k worth of Cryptopunk NFTs removed from his wallet when he was apparently fooled into interacting with a phishing site.