Hong Kong: Fake Websites Pop Up Targeting Emerging Virtual Banks

While more traditional financial services firms are regularly spoofed two emerging Hong Kong virtual banks have recently been targeted by scammers.

Both ZA Bank and Airstar Bank have seen bogus sites posted online in an attempt to fleece unsuspecting consumers.

This past weekend, Airstar posted a notice regarding the scam:

Airstar Bank wishes to alert members of the public the fraudulent websites using the domain name “https://airstar.blimitedhk.com” and “https://blimitedhk.com” requesting fund transfer to third party account, personal information and other sensitive information, or calling back a bogus hotline number quoted in the website. Customers should also refrain from visiting the websites and downloading any suspicious files from the websites.

Please note that the fraudulent domain has no connection with Airstar Bank and Airstar Bank will not:

    • ask for personal information through Voice Response System; or
    • send you email / SMS message asking for your sensitive information.

The case has been reported to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Police Force for further investigation.

Customers who are suspicious about the identity of a website at an address similar to the address of the Bank’s homepage should call the banking hotline at 3718 1818 for verification.

Yesterday, ZA Bank posted a similar notice cautioning consumers “not to provide any bank account information or personal information on this website.”

“ZA Bank Limited would like to alert our members of the public to a fraudulent website using the domain name http://zablimited.com/ … We wish to declare that ZA Bank Limited has no connection with the fraudulent website.”

Hong Kong has become a noted Fintech innovation center. Regarding digital banks, the country went from consultation to licensed digital-only, or virtual banks, rapidly with 8 licensed banks in the making. The digital native banks are, unfortunately, targets for fraudsters.

ZA Bank, affiliated with Zhong An, became the very first virtual bank to open up its digital doors in Hong Kong with Airstar following soon afterward. Airstar is affiliated with huge mobile phone purveyor Xioami.

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