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Hong Kong Cybercrime Increases Again; Privacy Under Attack

First published: 28th January 2015

Despite overall crime figures hitting a 41 year low, Commissioner of Police Mr Tsang Wai-hung reported in his 2014 crime review that cybercrime has risen for the third year in a row. In a separate report, Mr Allan Chiang, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, said that 2014 saw a two-fold Increase in privacy complaints related to use of Information and Communications Technologies.

1,239 cases involved deception on social media, a 375% increase for around $70 million losses, mostly involving fraudsters illegally logging in to an instant messaging account, contacting friends of the user, asking them to purchase Game Cards and send the serial number and PIN. The fraudsters then sold the credentials.

Online business fraud rose by 64% to 2375 cases and $48 million losses. Most cases involved e-auction and online shopping.

'Naked chat" blackmail cases rose 34% to 638 cases, with losses of $2.3 million. The highest amount lost in a single case was around $110,000.

In the Privacy Commissioner's report, there was a sharp increase of 44% in internet related enquiries to 611 cases in 2014. They were mainly concerned with cyber-profiling, excessive collection of personal data and cyber-bullying.

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