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A man is placing his card to wallet; image used for HSBC Hong Kong customer liability.

Three rules to prevent fraud

Criminals are getting more sophisticated with telephone scams and online scams, but there are ways to protect yourself. Here are our top tips for a great defense.

In 2019, the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre intercepted nearly HKD$3 billion that was on its way to hackers and fraudsters – up by 1.5 times1 from 2018. According to the recent HSBC Cyber Security Index 56% of HongKongers have encountered online fraud before, with 30% of these people experiencing monetary loss.2 If you don't want to become the next victim, remember the following important tips.

Be very cautious about how you share your personal information

Please provide your account information and one-time password to confirm your identity.

If you hear or see those words, consider it a red flag. Remember, never to disclose sensitive personal information such as your account or credit card information or password to anyone. HSBC will never ask you to provide sensitive information such as user names and passwords by phone or email. Even if the caller claims to be from an investment product company, a telecommunications company, or even claiming to be a government official, do not take the words easily. You should also enhance the security of your online banking and adopt measures such as multiple login authentication to ensure account security.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Even if you can't provide a proof of income, we can definitely help you borrow money at a very preferential interest rate.
Just pay the small fee or make a deposit, and your loan will be approved immediately.
Congratulations! You have won a big prize. To claim your prize simply pay the small administrative fee.

Scammers are experts at preying on people's interest in easy victories and desire to get rich quick. They'll offer you attractive services or generous rewards, that can all be yours... as long as you make an advance payment.

When you come across these "offers", remember the old saying: there's no such thing as a free lunch. There will almost always be a hidden cost, especially if an offer sounds too good to be true.

HSBC will never require you to pay fees to ensure loan approval. Bank staff or mortgage company staff will never ask customers to borrow money from another financial company to repay your existing loan.

Keep calm, don't panic

You are suspected of a criminal offense. You have to hand over your online bank account, password or money to prove your innocence.
We found abnormal transactions in your account. If you do not provide your account password for confirmation, your account will be frozen.

In addition to offering you unbelievable deals, scammers will also take advantage of your fears. They might claim to be law enforcement officers, government officials or bank employees, and tell you that you are involved in legal or financial troubles and frighten you into providing sensitive information or even money.

If you encounter this scenario, please remain calm. Call back the bank or institution to verify the caller. Don't let yourself be scared into something that doesn't feel right.

HSBC will never ask you to provide your account passwords or payments to confirm transaction activities, and law enforcement officers will not ask for your personal information on the phone, or ask you to reveal your bank account password to prove your innocence.

Whether it is on social media, by e-mail or on the phone, scammers will try their best to steal your personal information and money, riding on your psychological weaknesses to obtain your personal data and your trust. Don’t rely on others, learn how to protect yourself.

Think you might have encountered fraud? Please report it to us immediately.  

1 SCMP, 2 March 2020, Hong Kong police intercept more than US$384 million swindled from victims of internet and phone scams around world

2 Data acquired from HSBC Cyber Security Survey 2020