Circular on overseas fraud cases involving fake e-mails or websites

Press Releases

20 May 2003

Circular on overseas fraud cases involving fake e-mails or websites

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has today (Tuesday) issued a circular to all authorized institutions (AIs) to draw their attention to a number of recent fraud cases occurring overseas that have made use of fraudulent e-mails or websites to trick bank customers into revealing private details, such as e-banking login names and passwords.

"To date the reported incidents have involved websites and e-banking services established overseas. No consumers in Hong Kong are reported to have been victims of these incidents," said Mr Raymond Li, Executive Director (Banking Development) of the HKMA. "However, since e-banking services are increasingly popular in Hong Kong, AIs should take appropriate preventive measures."

The circular proposes certain precautionary measures to AIs including:

  • ensuring that their e-banking customers are made aware that AIs or their agents/business partners will never ask for customers' sensitive account information such as PIN numbers and passwords by e-mail
  • advising their e-banking customers of ways to ensure that they are communicating with the official website e.g. not to access e-banking sites through hyperlinks embedded in e-mails
  • searching the Internet regularly to see if there are third-party websites with domain names that could be mistaken for those of AIs, or websites which have established hyperlinks to AIs' sites.

The circular is now available at the HKMA's website

For further enquiries, please contact:
Sylvia Yip, Manager (Press), at 2878 1687 or
Thomas Chan, Senior Manager (Press), at 2878 1480

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 May 2003

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Last revision date : 20 May 2003