Thursday , June 20 2024

Dog meat scam app swindles users in Hong Kong


A dog-meat advertisement in Hong Kong has been used to cheat users in Hong Kong through a malware-riddled app.

Victims were sent an app download link that enabled scammers to steal their personal information. Illustration photo by Freepik

Victims are sent an app download link that enabled scammers to steal their personal information. Illustration photo by Freepik

The South China Morning Post reported that the fraudulent scheme led to nine customers being defrauded of HK$1.36 million over two months.

As the app was only available on Android, other smartphone users were asked to pay a HK$30 deposit through a Faster Payment System number which belonged to the Hong Kong Homeless Dog Shelter.

According to Ip Chenk-yu, the acting superintendent of the Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force, the scammers used the dog meat sales advertisement as bait for animal lovers to interact with them and download the app to attempt to identify the sellers.

Interested buyers were sent a link to a malware-riddled app disguised as an e-commerce platform, where other products such as instant noodles, car rentals, and travel plans were advertised for cheap.

The buyers were then tricked into entering their personal information, giving the scammers access to their bank accounts. The download of the app also enabled the scammers to hack into and take control of the buyers’ phones.

There has been no evidence to suggest that actual dog meat has been sold in the app, according to The Hong Kong Free Press.

The sale of dog meat and cat meat is illegal in Hong Kong, and those who break this law can be charged up to six months in prison and liable to a maximum fine of HK$5,000.

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