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HKMA E-banking Alert: Beware of unauthorised share trading transactions

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) wishes to alert members of the public to recent cases reported by banks involving unauthorised share trading transactions conducted through e-banking accounts of customers.  These unauthorised transactions were detected by banks’ regular surveillance of e-banking platforms over the past two weeks.  It should be noted that no unauthorised fund transfers over these accounts were detected.  Fund transfers to unregistered accounts are regarded as high-risk transactions and require two-factor authentication.

The HKMA believes that suitable precautionary measures adopted by the public when using e-banking services can help avoid these fraud cases.  These precautionary measures include:

  • Setting e-banking passwords that are difficult to guess and different from the ones for other internet services;
  • Installing and promptly updating security software to protect their computers and mobile phones;
  • Refraining from using public computers or public Wi-Fi to access e-banking accounts; and
  • checking their e-banking accounts from time to time and reviewing alert messages and statements issued by banks in a timely manner.

If members of the public are aware of unauthorised transactions conducted over their accounts, they should contact their bank as soon as possible and report to the Police or contact the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Police at 2860 5012.

Members of the public are encouraged to study the following public educational materials on e-banking services:

Under the HKMA’s guidelines, banks should put in place effective risk management controls to prevent and detect frauds relating to e-banking services.  In accordance with the Code of Banking Practice, a customer will not be held responsible for any direct loss suffered by him or her as a result of unauthorized e-banking transactions unless he or she acts fraudulently or with gross negligence.

The banks concerned have reported these cases to the HKMA and the Police, contacted the affected customers, and taken suitable countermeasures to protect the affected customers’ accounts.  The HKMA has drawn this development to the industry’s attention and required banks to step up their surveillance efforts to counter fraud attempts of similar nature.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 April 2016

Last revision date: 20 April 2016
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