A woman in Hong Kong lost nearly $800,000 when she attempted to adopt a kitten but instead got caught up in an elaborate crypto scam, reports Alarabiya News.
The 58-year-old woman’s ordeal began when somebody she met online offered to send her a kitten as a gift.
She was subsequently told that, unfortunately, her would-be furry friend had died en route to Hong Kong and that she was entitled to an insurance payout.
To collect her compensation, the scammers claimed that she’d need to pay a number of “administrative fees.” As a result, she made 40 separate payments using an unspecified crypto totaling $773,000.
According to local police, no arrests have been made.
Crypto scams are flavor of the month in Hong Kong
As detailed by Alarabiya News, crypto crime is on the rise in Hong Kong.
According to police, 1,900 crypto scams were reported to authorities between January and October last year. This represents a significant increase on the less than 500 reported in the whole of the previous year.
The losses from these scams topped HK$1.28 billion ($163 million), another huge jump from the previous year, which saw just HK$114 million ($14.5 million).