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BitForex under Hong Kong's SFC scrutiny for potential crypto scam

Hong Kong will block access to the exchange's websites links and take down its social channels.

BitForex under SFC scrutiny for potential crypto scam

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On March 4, 2024, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a public warning about BitForex, a virtual asset trading platform suspected of fraud. Despite claiming to be based in Hong Kong, BitForex has not applied for a license from the SFC for its operations.

“The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today warned the public of suspected virtual asset fraud involving a purported virtual asset trading platform (VATP) operating under the name of BitForex (Note 1). BitForex, purportedly headquartered in Hong Kong, has neither been licensed by the SFC nor applied to the SFC for a license to operate a VATP in Hong Kong,” the SFC noted.

According to the SFC, users have recently faced significant challenges withdrawing assets from BitForex, purportedly due to wallet and website maintenance. These difficulties have escalated to the platform’s website shutdown, leaving users unable to access their accounts or funds.

The SFC included BitForex on its Suspicious Virtual Asset Trading Platforms Alert List. Following the SFC’s recommendation, the Hong Kong Police Force is working to block the platform’s website links and dismantle associated social media pages.

The SFC’s warning also highlights the risks associated with trading on unregulated virtual asset platforms, cautioning that investors could potentially lose all their funds.

Furthermore, the SFC issued additional alerts today concerning fraudulent websites that impersonate legitimate virtual asset trading platforms. Specifically, HSKEX falsely claims to represent Hash Blockchain Limited, while the websites www.oslexu.com and www.oslint.com are masquerading as OSL Digital Securities Limited.

BitForex abruptly shut down its website and ceased operations amid an alleged $57 million outflow on February 23. Due to the exchange’s lack of communication, concerns have arisen that a rug pull may occur.

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